Production system characteristics
White fish is a general term for several fish species with dry and white flesh which are offered as fillets on the market and often used for processed seafood products. This group of species is
particularly important for the fishing industry and is the second most important group after small pelagics in quantity and the most important in value.
The product´s origin is quite different, both in terms of geographical origin and of source of production. For example, while nearly 100 % of cod, pollack and hake are provided from fisheries,
pangasius and tilapia origi-nate entirely from Non-EU aquaculture.
All of the white fish species compete on the same market, which is one of the most important seafood markets in the EU. Within all the “white fish” species, cod, pollack, hake and pangasius are among
the ten most consumed species in the EU countries in
European “White fish” face several challenges influencing the competitiveness and the sustainability of the sector:
- In demersal fisheries, white fish is caught in mixed fisheries, which leads to problems of quota availability or sometimes high discard rates, this
last one is also challenging due to the implementation of landing obligation.
- Due to seasonality, concentration of landings and competition between species, the price variability between within species is high
- Due to the wide variety of species, substitution between species is common and particularly in processed products. Companies need also to innovate to
- Fishermen need to respond to the growing demand of society for high quality, safe and more sustainably fish production systems.
- The European products compete with relatively cheap aquaculture imported fish like pangasius and tilapia and the competition is particularly
difficult in this context of increasing production costs.
Given this challenges list, the SUCCESS project will try to answer to the following broad
questions by their implications within workpackages (WP) :
- What are the emerging consumer trends and perceptions in some of the most important EU countries? (WP2)
- What are the determining costs for white fish? What are the effects of the substitution between species? (WP3)
- How does the value chain for white fish products work? Where do processors get their raw material from and what
perceptions do they have? (WP4)
- What are potentials for innovations in the whitefish market? (WP5)
Production segment studied
According to the large diversity, the Coastal fish case study will not provide an exhaustive representation of that picture but will focus on production segments which
illustrate the issues and challenges (presented below) :
- The plaice fishery in the North Sea allow to analyse a ‘boom and bust’-cycle : a phase of low landing due to limitations in fishing,
followed by improvement of the stock with an increase of catches led to very low prices.
- The fresh and frozen cod processing industry, where innovation in cutting allows to use larger parts of the fish, which increases
the companies benefits.
- The supply-side of mixed-fisheries, which are highly impacted by the landing obligation, will allow studying the impact on demand