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1.1 Definition and scope of study

We define as shrimps the organisms of small size, up to 7-10 cm, while we define as prawns those larger than 15 cm. In the Mediterranean Sea, prawns are mainly represented by three species, namely the red prawn, the purple prawn and the mazzancolla, and they are certainly the most important species economically; while, for shrimps, the most widespread and widely fished specie is represented by the white shrimp. Within the scope of this study we will therefore focus on the production and commercialization of these 4 Italian species of shrimps (occasionally including gamberetti, a smaller size of shrimp which is generally cheaper than the below mentioned species):

  • White Shrimp
  • Purple Shrimp
  • Red Shrimp
  • Mazzancolla

Global shrimp catches have increased dramatically over the last decade, due to the spread of more massive and more efficient 'industrial' fisheries. In fact, between 2010 and 2017 it increased by 36.3%. The most used production method in this market is aquaculture. In fact, it is often family farms that produce shrimps and sell them to wholesalers in their region, who then distribute them internationally. Today, shrimp aquaculture accounts for over 60% of world production, according to the European Commission, per capita consumption of shrimp in Europe is 1.56 kilos per year, up 4% in the last five years.

Italy is the largest catcher of pink shrimp in the world, especially along the Tyrrhenian and Ionian coasts, in fact Italian sales of shrimps have experienced an increase in value of 13.7% in 2019. Analyzing the regional distribution of the market, it is necessary to point out that 44% of Italian shrimps are fished or bred in Sicily.

Shrimps fished in the Mediterranean Sea are valuable fish products and very sought after by consumers. Their cost can be very high as it reaches 50/60 euros per kg for red shrimps and 60 euros per kg for purple shrimps. Also for this reason most of the Italian demand is satisfied by imported products from the Netherlands, Denmark and Belgium.

1.2 The Global Market of Shrimps

World shrimp production is constantly increasing due to ever-higher demand: between **** and ****, it increased by **.*%. It is possible to estimate it for **** at nearly ** million tonnes.  

Evolution of the world shrimp production World, ****-****, in million of tons Source: ****

Most of this production is carried out in Asia (***).

The most common ...

1.3 The Italian Market for Shrimps

The Italian market for shrimps can be defined as including white, red, purple and mazzancolla shrimps. The revenues of this segment of the crustaceans market has experienced a growth in revenues of about **% in the period between **** and **** with some fluctuations over the years mainly due to the different levels of ...

1.4 Imports and Exports of Shrimps

Following the trend of the rest of Europe, Italy relies heavily on imports to satisfy its internal shrimp demand. Imports amount to about ** times more than exports, and the coverage rate, which has been fluctuating between *.*% and *%, reflects the trend. 

Overall, both imports and exports have been slowly declining in the ...

1.5 COVID-19 Impact

The General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean conducted an analysis on the impact of the Covid-** pandemic on the fishing industry in Europe.

According to the report, the crisis has immediately led to a decline in both wholesale and consumer demand, triggered by the closure of export markets and the hotels, ...


2.1 Demand Characteristics

Crustaceans experienced a contraction in spending in **** (***), despite a price decrease -*% [***].

Change in household crustaceans consumption by value and volume Italy, ****/****, in % Source: ****

Analyzing the details of the individual typologies of consumption, it is possible to note that consumer prices of fresh or refrigerated fish have observed a decline in ...

2.2 Demand Drivers of the Shrimp Market

The shrimp market is driven by various factors that have been escalating demand and production in recent years. Relevant drivers of demand include the increasing health benefits offered by shrimps, increase in adoption of new environmentally friendly production techniques and the convenience of this kind of seafood in comparison to other ...

2.3 Consumer Profile and Consumption Habits

Consumption of crustaceans in Italy is characterized by a prevalence of Shrimps over other types of crustaceans which in the case of gamberetti are considered a lower-quality and cheaper product while, in the case of mazzancolle and scampi, are considered as premium and thus more expensive products. 

Breakdown of domestic consumption ...

2.4 Demand Trends

Shrimps have experienced a rather high increase in consumption and the share of imported products is increasing, especially those coming from Central American production areas and Southeast Asia.

The main trends that the shrimp market in Italy is witnessing have to do with greater attention paid by Italian customers to the ...


3.1 Value Chain of the Shrimp Market

An overview of the value chain of the market is synthesized below.

3.2 The Production Cycle

The first step of the value chain consists of the production cycle that takes place in aquaculture establishments. 

The cycle has been exemplified by FAO and is presented below. The shrimps are grown in a tank and fed until the maturation date. Fertilization takes place externally and the eggs are then ...

3.3 Distribution Channels of Shrimp

Like most fish-related products, the shrimp market relies heavily on the retail distribution channel.

In fact, about **% of the production reaches the final consumers through supermarkets and other specialized stores. However, the HORECA channel, made up by demand by hotels, restaurants, and catering services is still relevant and represents **% of the ...

3.4 The Aquaculture of Shrimps: an Italian Player is revolutionizing the practice

Aquaculture consists in the production of fish, crustaceans, mollusks and algae in confined environments that are completely controlled by humans. A sort of fish farm. As an activity it has ancient origins as it seems that the Australian aborigines practiced it **** years ago, but it had its main moment of industrial ...


4.1 Composition of the Offer

The most common shrimp species in national seas are:

Purple shrimp, Parapenaeus longirostris, available year-round, but with a higher seasonality in the period from November to June. It usually lives at great depths in all areas of the Mediterranean and also along and also along the Atlantic Ocean coasts. It has ...

4.2 Main Shrimp Producers

As already mentioned in section *.*, the production of Italian shrimps (***) is mainly concentrated in two regions: Sicilia and Puglia. The map below pictures this situation confirming the dichotomy of the shrimp production in Italy. 

Geographic Distribution of  Production in the Shrimp Market, by regions

Italy, ****, in %

Source: ****

4.3 Main Players of the Italian Shrimp Market

 The Italian shrimp market is part of the broader crustaceans, seafood, and fish market. Although Italy satisfies its internal demand mostly by importing the product, the country's geographical characteristics allow many businesses to thrive in the fishing and processing of food market.

The main players of the sector are ranked in ...

4.4 Average Pricing by Shrimp Species

An analysis of the dynamics of the prices of some species of crustaceans conducted by BMTI revealed substantial stability for farmed shrimps, as opposed to frequent fluctuations for caught products. Specifically, certain price stability prevailed for the red shrimp fished in the Mediterranean market and sold in the Rome market. A ...


5.1 Regulation

Freshwater crayfish are part of the "fish fauna" and are therefore included in national and regional laws regulating inland fisheries. which regulate fishing activities in inland waters.

On October **, ****, the following Directorate Decrees concerning "Provisions on target fishing of red and purple shrimp with trawl gear" were published on the website ...

5.2 Labels

In general terms, sales labels for fresh crustaceans on fish counters - including those sold without heads or processed in different ways - must indicate

the commercial name (***); the physical state (***). If omitted, it is understood that the product is fresh; the method of production: 'caught' or 'farmed'; the origin, indicating ...


6.1 Segmentation

  • Iliopesca
  • Rosso di Mazzara
  • Alemar

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The market for sports nutrition supplements - France

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Note the recent but steady take-off of organic feed for farm animals, which is leading to a renewal of research and development in the sector

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The work of collection, data processing and the method to estimate the market still poorly known are very relevant. Interview with the market specialist on the impact of the Covid crisis very interesting

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Good synthesis of the market with interesting figures

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