turbot (Psetta maxima) farming

turbot image from www.piscestt.comThe FAO’s Fisheries Global Information System has produced a fact sheet on the farming of turbot (Psetta maxima).

Production statistics:
French production rose from an estimated 150 tonnes in 1993 to a peak of 980 tonnes in 1997; since then it has fluctuated, being 728 tonnes in 2002. In Portugal productions seems to be fluctuating around 350-390 tonnes/yr. By far the largest producer is Spain, whose annual production has nearly doubled since 1998. In 2002, Spanish turbot production was 3847 tonnes (75.9% of the global total). Besides the three countries mentioned above, no other country reported production above 50 tonnes in 2002.

The global production of turbot in 2002 was valued at US$ 41.38 million.

Market and trade:
Most farmed turbot is currently consumed in the producing countries. In Spain, about 75% of production is consumed internally; the rest is exported to France, Italy and Germany. The product is generally sold fresh and whole, though in France a small proportion of the production is sold gutted. The European turbot market has no specific regulations, and there are no limits on trade within EU countries, no minimum sizes, and no withdrawal price.

Status and trends:
Turbot aquaculture can currently be considered a mature technology. It seems likely that the industry will see marked expansion in the future, with the construction of new rearing units and augmentation of the capacity of existing farms. Nevertheless, continued research and development effort is required in the following areas:

* Fry production, with the aim of increasing larval survival rates.
* Improved culture systems and automation.
* Disease prevention and control.
* Stock monitoring and genetic improvement.
* Improved marketing, with the consolidation of existing markets and development of new markets.
* Avenues for processing need to be explored.
* Training for technical personnel with combined skills in aquaculture technology and business management.

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