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Tuesday, 23 February 2016 18:53

agadirA discussion of the European Market Observatory for Fisheries and Aquaculture Products (EUMOFA), an initiative of the European Commission, took place as a side event in Agadir, Morocco, on 22 February 2016, in conjunction with the FAO COFI Sub-Committee on Fish Trade. Its purpose was to introduce this important initiative to a wider audience around the globe and showcase the possibilities offered by the database, both to the policy-makers and industry.

Xavier Guillou, Market Analyst of DG Mare of the European Commission, said that he believes EUMOFA can be of great interest to a wide-ranging group of institutions and operators by providing more structured data. The rationale behind the tool is to provide aggregated and easily comparable data covering the whole value chain from first sale to consumption, covering a 15-year period.

He is confident that EUMOFA can facilitate trade flows in the EU market and make clear to policy-makers what factors are influencing policies.

Guillou points to the market-intelligence tool’s clear benefits in providing the most detailed analysis of the EU market available. To showcase the advantages, he provided several highlights of the most recent developments in the EU market. For example, EU consumers buy less fish and seafood products while spending more on their purchases. EU market self-sufficiency is approximately 44%, with three-quarters coming from capture fisheries. Since 2008, imports have grown consistently at 6% annually. The value of imports reached €21 billion, with exports at €4,3 billion. EU Member States export more than 2 million tonnes of seafood.

Future plans include the expansion of EUMOFA’s data coverage and the strengthening of its communication activities. Audience members were encouraged to use the wide range of products on the EUMOFA website, available in all 24 EU languages, at www.eumofa.eu.