Currently available data show that shellfish and finfish production in Italy, derived both from fisheries and aquaculture activities, is on the order of 474,000 tons, each activity representing 50 % of the total amount. In this context, the finfish aquaculture industry contributes on average 31 % to the national aquaculture production and on average 59 % of its value, giving a total amount of 72,000 tons and a value of around 351 million € (2010). According to FEAP statistics, Italy is the fourth largest finfish producer in EU27, after the UK, Greece, and Spain, while it is also one of the six largest finfish producers among the non-EU and EU member countries, together with Norway, UK, Greece, Turkey, and Spain. Presently, fish culture activities are mainly focused on rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss, 55.5 %), followed by European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax, 13.6 %), gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata, 12.2 %), gray mullet (Mugil cephalus, 5.3 %), sturgeon (Acipenser spp., 2 %), and European eel (Anguilla anguilla, 1.7 %). Over the last 20 years, freshwater fish production and aquaculture (trout, carp, and eel) have decreased in Italy, with the exception of sturgeon. In contrast, marine fish production has significantly increased during the same period, and the two leading species, European sea bass and gilthead sea bream, presently contribute 25.8 % of the finfish production. From 1,900 tons in 1990, production reached 19,000 tons in 2010, with a 900 % increase, at an average percentage of 4.5 %. In addition, new marine fish species were successfully cultured over the same period. This review outlines the past and present situation of finfish culture in Italy and discusses future developments and priorities, with particular emphasis on new, emerging aquaculture species.
Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 26, 2013
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