Trade and Markets

Map Dogfish

Schillerlocken (curled strips of smoked spiny dogfish) used to be an ever-present delicacy in the counters of German fishmongers, and their presence was taken for granted. Because the dogfish stock in the North East Atlantic is overfished, however, an increasing number of grocery chains no longer lists the products of this presumably endangered species. Now the fishermen on the east coast of North America are complaining. There are still plenty of spiny dogfish there but hardly anybody wants them. What is to be done? Should dogfish products be taken out of the product range or can they remain there?

The Atlantic salmon market continues to be undersupplied as Chile’s production in 2010 is reaching rock bottom. As a result prices are at their highest levels for many years although sluggish demand over the summer should ease prices somewhat. Higher water temperatures will also boost growth levels with additional volumes coming to market over the next few months. Farmed salmon prices, therefore, are expected to ease over the next months.

On average, every consumer in the western world opens about seven product packs a day, be it a bar of chocolate, a can of coke, or an MAP tray with smoked salmon. With that, the packaging has fulfilled its purpose and can be disposed of. This does not only constitute a huge waste of valuable resources and energy but also has a negative influence on the natural CO2 balance. Are “green” packaging concepts a way out of this dilemma?

Although only 7% of the world’s population live in the EU the 27 member states imported food and agricultural products worth 155 billion EUR in 2008. The EU is the world’s largest seafood import market. Anyone who wants to develop this big, attractive market for their products has to fulfil a considerable number of requirements, rules and regulations. We look at some of the most important here.

Chilean production of Atlantic salmon in 2010 was less than half of the levels registered in previous years. The available figures for harvests show that up to November 2010 there was a 54% reduction in aquaculture output.

The health benefits of fish are widely publicised, but the healthy attributes of bivalve molluscs have not received the same attention. Consumers are not aware that consumption of bivalves has the same beneficial effects on health and well-being as fish that are high in omega-3s.


A lot of people still believe that tuna is just one single species. Hardly anyone knows that there are more than half a dozen “genuine” tuna species which differ in their biological properties and are fished to varying degrees. Not every tuna species is as threatened as bluefin tuna – the stock situation has to be considered separately for every marine region and every individual species.

Although in good years salmon production from global aquaculture is sometimes twice as high as the yield from salmon fishing, wild salmon is of course still very important on the world market. It benefits from its image of being a pure, natural product plus the fact that a lot of individual wild salmon fisheries are considered particularly sustainable. And that is precisely why Alaska’s withdrawal from the MSC programme is being received in many places with disapproval and incomprehension.

During the first half of 2012, supplies of sashimi grade tuna increased following good catches in the Indian Ocean, resulting in weaker auction prices in Japan. Yellowfin and albacore prices also fell in January as demand in southern Europe declined. Skipjack prices, however, have reached record highs.

Many small pelagic stocks are in good shape, but with variations from species to species. With higher landings expected for many operators, prices may suffer.

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