FRANCE - According to recently published data the EU 28 total catch represents 4.8m tonnes, of which France catches 443 509 T or nine per cent (CFP edition 2014), writes Finnian O’Luasa, from the Paris Office of Bord Bia – Irish Food Board.
EU 28 produces a further 1.254m tonnes of seafood through aquaculture of which France produces 206 909 tonnes or 16.5 per cent.
France has the 5th highest rate of per capita consumption in Europe at 35.4kg per inhabitant per year, compared to an EU average of 23.1kg.
The five leading per capita consumption states are Portugal (56.7kg), Spain (43.4 kg), Lithuania (39.8kg) and Finland (35.6kg).
France consumes a wide variety of species covering both shellfish and finfish.
The top 10 species purchased fresh for home consumption in France in 2013 were mussels, salmon, oysters, cod, saithe, scallop, whiting, crab, hake and whelk. 61 per cent of fresh seafood was purchased in supermarkets in France in 2013, compared to 17 per cent in fish shops or markets, and 22 per cent eaten out of home in either commercial or collective catering outlets.
Home consumption sales remained relatively stable in value (-0.2 per cent) in 2013 compared to 2012 in spite of an increase in price of three per cent.
Fresh and frozen categories decreased most, whereas the chilled delicatessen sector remained stable.
Canned seafood on the other hand increased in value by six per cent due to rising prices.
The abundance of cod in the Barents sea lead to significant price decreases for the species and a consequent rise in volume sales.
Other whitefish species were also affected by pressure from cod prices, however, promotional effort from the French fisheries federation concentrated on building awareness for species other than cod.
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