FARMED SPECIES

Fish farmed in the sea are a highly nutritious food for humans. The meat from these fish is a good source of protein, minerals (such as phosphorus, magnesium and selenium) and vitamins (such as vitamin A and the B vitamins). They also provide, polyunsaturated fatty acids (such as eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid) which have been found to reduce the risks of cardiovascular related diseases and generally improve human health.

Atlantic Bluefin Tuna The Atlantic bluefin tuna, Thunnus thynnus, is a highly migratory species occupying the pelagic ecosystem of the entire North Atlantic and its adjacent seas, primarily the Mediterranean Sea. It can reach a maximum length of about 3.3m. Its official maximum weight is 726 kg, and it can live up to 40 years. The Atlantic bluefin tuna is caught by a variety of methods in the Mediterranean, including longline and purse seine fishing. The fishing activity of bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean is controlled by ICCAT, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas. Fish caught by purse seine fishing boats are typically transferred to farms where the fish are then fed continuously to improve the quality and increase the size of the fish. Fish are harvested and processed in a very special way so as to ensure the maximum quality of the product when it reaches the specialised sashimi and sushi markets.
Gilthead Sea Bream The gilthead sea bream, Sparus aurata, is a temperate, euryhaline fish which is found along the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea and the East Atlantic from England to Senegal.  It can reach a size of 70cm with a corresponding body weight of 4 to 5 kilograms. This is one of the most important species cultured in the Mediterranean, with an estimated total production of 185,000 tonnes in 2013. The gilthead sea bream is typically sold without any processing and presented as a whole fish.
European Sea Bass The European sea bass, Dicentrarchus labrax, is the second most popular fish cultured in the Mediterranean. In the wild, this fish can be found in the Medtiterranean, the Black Sea and in the Atlantic from Norway down to Senegal. Its shape is quite different to that of the gilthead sea bream, having a rather elongate body which can reach up to a length of 1m and up to 12kg in weight. The market size of this fish from the farm is normally under 1kg and, like the gilthead sea bream, is normally sold unprocessed and a whole fish. 2013 production was 160,000 tonnes.
Meagre The meagre, Argyrosomus regius, is normally found all over the Mediterranean, in the Black Sea and the East Atlantic coast. This fish can reach lengths of up to 2m and over 50kg in weight. The meagre is not produced to the same level as the gilthead sea bream or the European sea bass. It’s history in aquaculture is shorter but it does have attributes which make it an ideal potential candidate for farming. These include rapid growth and good feed efficiency. It is typically a very lean fish, even when fed aquaculture diets and when grown to the larger size at market (1 to 5kg).  It’s size lends itself to being very suitable for further processing such as filleting, slicing and smoking.
Greater Amberjack The greater amberjack, Seriola dumerili, is a species of fish which could have great potential as a farmed fish in the Mediterranean. This fish can grow up to a length of 2m and weigh up to 70kg. It is found in the Mediterranean but also in other Seas and Oceans. It is a fish of interest to the aquaculture industry because it can grow very fast and reach harvestable sizes which, like the meagre, make it a very interesting product for additional processing into fillets and slicing. However, production in farms is still very low compared to the meagre and the other major species of fish currently cultured in the Mediterranean.

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