NewsAquaculture in Portugal: A Growth Perspective

Aquaculture in Portugal: A Growth Perspective

Aquaculture in Portugal, driven by its extensive coastline and rich marine biodiversity, is a thriving industry showing remarkable growth and economic impact. According to the latest statistics from 2021, aquaculture production exceeded 17,000 tons and a generated revenue of more than 160 million euros, demonstrating its resilience and potential to meet the increasing demands for seafood.

Among the noteworthy species cultivated in Portugal’s aquaculture sector are clams, sea bream, and turbot. These species, with their distinct qualities, not only contribute substantially to the total aquaculture production but also hold a special place in the culinary and cultural identity of Portugal.

The current overview of aquaculture in Portugal, marked by solid growth and diversification, incentivizes a more in-depth analysis of the challenges and opportunities that shape the quality of seafood and how to maintain a balance between the expansion and excellence of this products.

Quality control is present at all stages of the process: from meticulous harvesting and handling practices that prioritize the well-being of the fish, to efficient transportation methods that ensure optimal freshness until the product reaches the markets. Rigorous water quality management, traceability systems, and adherence to demanding hygiene and processing standards, further contribute to the sector’s commitment to excellence. Regular laboratory tests evaluate factors such as freshness and nutritional content, contributing crucial knowledge that guides continuous improvement.

As consumers increasingly seek nutritious and responsibly sourced food options, farmed fish is emerging as an obvious choice. Like wild fish, farmed fish is rich in nutrients: vitamins A and D, important minerals (iodine, zinc, magnesium, iron, selenium) and has low levels of cholesterol, along with easily digestible proteins. However, it is richer in fat than wild fish, which contains no less than the desired omega-3s, which are so good for us. In addition, it is more ecologically sustainable and due to its proximity, reaches the market in less than a day. It doesn’t get any fresher than this.

Portugal is one of the countries with the highest per capita fish consumption in the EU and imports about 75% of the marine products it consumes. According to the National Strategy for the Sea, it is imperative to reconvert fishing into one of the most sustainable sectors of activity by 2030 and, consequently, increase the preference for national fish, also highlighting the importance of investing in national aquaculture.

The National Strategy for the Sea 2021-2030 highlights national aquaculture as a crucial tool to reverse the current trend in traditional fish supply, aiming at its sustainable development and high quality and environmental standards. It sets a goal of increasing national aquaculture production to 25 thousand tons per year, boosting the sector in a sustainable way. In short, Portuguese aquaculture stands out not only for its remarkable growth and diversification, but also for its commitment to the quality of the fish produced. Its incomparable freshness, superior quality and commitment to sustainability make it the ideal choice for those looking for a healthy and responsible diet.

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