The fish processing sector in Lithuania is based mainly on imported raw materials which are converted into a variety of products both for domestic consumption and for export. Some companies are also using locally-caught and locally-farmed fish to add variety to the range of products they manufacture.
Fisheries plays an important role in the economies of coastal regions throughout Europe. It is therefore vital to exploit the oceans’ aquatic resources sustainably to avoid the depletion of fish stocks, a rusting fishing fleet, unemployed fishermen and seafood shortages.
The Lithuanian fisheries sector has a long historical traditions and is a part of the national heritage in the Baltic Sea coast area. The segment comprises a high seas fleet, a Baltic Sea fleet, and a coastal fleet. There is also a small freshwater fishery in the Curonian lagoon. The aquaculture industry in Lithuania is dynamic and the production of farmed fish has been increasing in terms of both value and volume.
Lina Kujalyte, Vice Minister in the Lithuanian Ministry of Agriculture has been responsible for aspects of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy that are only now being implemented, for example, the landing obligation, which in the Baltic Sea came into force at the start of the year. Lithuania also held the chair of BALTFISH, an organisation that brings stakeholders from EU countries around the Baltic Sea together to work out common positions on policies concerning the Baltic. Ms Kujalyte is also a strong proponent of aquaculture, a sector which will receive the largest chunk of funding from Lithuania’s allocation from the EMFF. Here she discusses some of her priorities for the fisheries sector in the country.
Camli is part of the Yasar Group, a holding company with interests in a variety of industries including food and beverages, agriculture, paints, and paper. Within the group Camli is responsible for agriculture, livestock, fisheries, and feed. The company farms seabass, seabream and small quantities of meagre, which are mainly exported to markets in the EU.
While Turkey is now well known for its seabass and seabream farming operations, production from which exceeds even that of Greece, the country also has a huge trout industry. Annual volumes of trout dwarf those of seabass and seabream and amount to almost three fifths of total EU trout production.
More Aquaculture is a producer and exporter of seabass, seabream, meagre and trout. The company has its own production of seabass and seabream and a network of suppliers that provide the company with the trout that it requires to meet its commitments. More has been in the aquaculture business for the last 13 years and is owned by the AKG Group, a conglomerate with interests in building materials and tourism apart from fish.
Kopuzmar was established in 1991, but operations actually started five years earlier when the company put 600 gilthead seabream juveniles in cages in the sea. Since then the company has grown significantly, producing juveniles and fish feed, farming seabream and seabass, and processing fish in to value added products.
Kiliç Seafood is Turkey’s biggest producer of farmed fish, cultivating seabream, seabass, meagre, and trout with a total annual production capacity of approximately 40,000 tonnes. The company is fully integrated with hatcheries, feed production, processing, sales, marketing and distribution. Its products are exported to 44 countries around the world making it Turkey’s leading exporter in this sector.
In a sector crowded with farming and processing companies Akuvatur stands out for its approach, which differs in several respects from other producers. Owned by an academic, Dr Haluk Tuncer, Akuvatur has concentrated on species other than seabass and seabream. In addition, the company grows fish to sizes that are usually larger than the typical market-sized fish.