Seabass for small fishing vessels in the EU represents more than 10% of landing value according to a report by the European Commission and the EUMOFA
For many small vessels in the EU, seabass represents more than 10% of landing value, peaking at 50% in the Netherlands and 40% in France, according to a new report released by the European Commission and the European Market Observatory for Fisheries and Aquaculture (EUMOFA).
These fleets, mainly passive gears and hooks and liners, are profitable and can value their catch at the highest price. Seabass caught with hooks and line can reach the price of up to 35€/kg on the French market – the largest market for wild seabass in Europe.
The report highlights the main market trends for wild seabass in Europe, including the fleets’ economic dependency on seabass, the impact of recreational fisheries, as well as the significant market segmentation depending on production methods (wild-caught or farmed), size of the catch and type of gear used.
European seabass are mostly caught in the North Sea, the English Channel and the Bay of Biscay by EU fleets using trawls, seines, nets and hooks and line. To a lesser extent, it is also caught in the Mediterranean. In 2017, EU catches of seabass in North-East Atlantic reached 4.175 tonnes.
France was by far the main fishing country with catches of 2.577 tonnes, followed by Portugal (573 tonnes)12; the UK (438 tonnes); Spain (432 tonnes); the Netherlands (132 tonnes) and Belgium (22 tonnes).
The landing value of North-East Atlantic seabass fisheries can be estimated at EUR 55 million for 4.175 tonnes in 2017. It means that seabass caught in the Atlantic accounts for less than 1% of EU landing value of all species, ranking circa 40th of the most valuable species in EU.
Finally, there may also be illegal and unreported landings due to lucrative markets for seabass, but evidence that such activities are occurring is either missing or anecdotal.
Read the findings of the report on EUMOFA website: