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1.1 Definition and scope of study

The fish farming is one of the branches of aquaculture that refers to the farming of fish in fresh water (pond fish farming), in brackish water (salmon farming) or in saline water (marine fish farming). There are two main types of fish farming: production in pond and production intensive at artificial pool or in cages . Fish farming marine and new is developing mainly in the Mediterranean basin, in sea waters.

More than 500 production sites in France are listed for nearly 300 commercial companies. Production activity is concentrated in 3 major regional basins : New Aquitaine, the Hauts de France and Brittany concentrate more than ¾ of the national production. France is a large producer and breeder of fish in Europe France, for example, produces nearly 40,000 tonnes of trout in 2016, making it the third largest producer of freshwater trout in Europe.

France is pioneer in marine fish farming but only produces about 5,000 tonnes of marine fish, compared to more than a million salmon in Norway, for example. In addition, France is now one of the world's leading producers of major consumer markets of aquatic products in the European Union: the tuna is the first species consumed, followed by salmon, cod, trout and tropical fish


1.2 Fish farming: a dynamic activity in the world

Worldwide, fish farming is a dynamic business. Farmed fish account for **% of human consumption, a proportion that is expected to reach **% by ****. [***]
World production is almost entirely carried out in Asia, notably in China, with **% of the total in volume. In these countries, it is mainly carp and tilapia that are ...

1.3 The domestic market

In France, there are currently about *** fish farms approved for animal health (***). [***]
In value terms, fish farming in **** represented only *.*% of fish and shellfish sales, for about *.*% of the volume sold (***). [***]

Source: ****
However, farmed fish accounts for **% of French fish consumption, which shows the importance of this sector.

This importance has ...

1.4 International trade in fishery and aquaculture products

France is not self-sufficient in fishery and aquaculture products. This is due to consumption habits that do not correspond to French production capacity. For example, France imported more than €*.** billion worth of salmon in ****, mainly because this species is fished only in the North Seas in Europe. [***]

Source: ****
France imports nearly ...


2.1 State of fish consumption in France

In ****, it turns out that the French prefer to consume refrigerated delicatessen products and fresh products when it comes to fish and shellfish. In total, French households bought €*.* billion worth of fish and shellfish. [***]

Source: ****
Fresh products have the lowest penetration rate among households (***), while chilled delicatessen products are bought by ...

2.2 Consumption of fresh fish

In France, household consumption of fish mainly concerns salmon (***). These two species alone account for almost half of the French consumption of fresh fish. [***]

Source: ****
Salmon, like fresh cod, is a fish that is particularly suitable for well-to-do and upper-middle class households in all regions of France. Salmon is a fish ...

2.3 Consumption of processed fish

Between **** and ****, sales of processed fish (***) increased by *.*% in value, on average, each year. The evolution of prices has allowed the sector to grow in value faster than in volumes sold. [***]
However, sales of frozen fish decreased sharply, mainly due to a decline in sales volume, which on average exceeds *% each ...


3.1 Consolidation and internationalisation

While fish farming represented real hope for the fisheries and aquaculture sector, an alternative to traditional fishing, the activity has not really progressed in recent years. Some argue the difficulties of exploitation (***), others point to the lack of support from the State, which would have allowed the development of this activity ...

3.2 Operation of a fish farm

Fish farms are part of a fairly large stakeholder system. Obtaining fry and equipment from suppliers, there are usually several intermediaries between the farms and the final consumers (***).

Source: ****
There is an important difference between fish farmers and traditional fishermen: their place in the value chain. Whereas fishermen are obliged to ...

3.3 The traditional method of production

The fish reared on fish farms are generally grown from fry cultures and then delivered to the farm. The main concern of fish farmers is to raise their fish in good conditions, i.e. :
Ensure the quality of the living environment for fish Protect its operation against external events (***) Healthy food ...

3.4 New production methods

New production methods have appeared in France following the difficulties in the sector. French farmers have decided to develop sustainable fish farming, differentiating themselves from their Chinese competitors, who have been criticised for the conditions in which tilapia are farmed. This means that some French farmers have Label Rouge or AB ...

3.5 The distribution of fish is mainly done in supermarkets and hypermarkets

The distribution of fresh and processed fish is mainly done in supermarkets and hypermarkets:
**% of fresh fish **% of refrigerated delicatessen products **% of canned products
Wholesalers and central purchasing bodies therefore act as important intermediaries between fish farmers and final consumers, which the sector must take into account. [***]

Source: ****


4.1 Fish production involves a limited number of fish

The farming of fish is not intended solely for food consumption. Fish production can also be used for restocking purposes, for example. The representation below shows the distribution of sales of fish from fish farming in the Hauts de France.

Source: ****
As regards sales to wholesalers, which account for most of ...

4.2 Rapidly rising prices

Fish is a relatively expensive commodity, due to the difficulty of raising and catching it, but also due to the large investments needed to transport and conserve it. On average, distribution prices are higher in fish shops and markets than in supermarkets. [***]
In ****, the average prices recorded are between approximately ** €/kg ...


5.1 Rules for creating or taking over a holding

Fish farmers wishing to set up their own farm must comply with a number of rules and apply for numerous administrative authorisations. [***]
However, depending on the level of production planned, the authorisations to be applied for are not the same:
For a production of less than ** tonnes/year, the farm must ...

5.2 Very strict health rules

The placing on the market of fish from fish farms is subject to obtaining animal health approval. It is required for aquaculture farms and processing establishments slaughtering animals from aquaculture, and thus from fish farming. [***]
In order to benefit from registration in the register of holdings complying with animal health obligations, ...


6.1 Segmentation of players

  • Gloria Maris Groupe
  • Aqualande
  • Piscicultures de Bretagne
  • Pisciculture Vasseur
  • Truites Bellet

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