Mediterranean aquaculture is mainly characterized by gilthead seabream and European seabass production. There are several producing countries (EU or non-EU) and some key players with distinct production systems (cages or ponds), diverse goals in terms of fish products depending on selling channel (retail, HORECA) and different destinations (local markets, export).
“There are many different bream and bass in the market, despite looking similar to untrained eyes. The production and sale of these species are becoming more and more competitive, and the farmer is increasingly struggling to obtain good and fair profits. On the other hand, consumers are more aware and demanding regarding the fish they buy in terms of origin, freshness, visual aspect, or nutritional value. We still do have a long path to do in this regard,” Aquasoja said. “Whenever possible, investing in a differentiated fish product will increase its value on the market, finally improving the outcomes.”
To increase the value and quality of seabream in the European market, Aquasoja developed CROMA five years ago, a functional finishing feed to enhance the natural skin colors of seabream, approaching a farmed typical greyish seabream to a wild colorful specimen. It was the first company introducing this kind of product. CROMA has been coloring seabream of distinct sizes, grown in earthen ponds and cages, thanks to vegetable and marine ingredients that are rich sources of natural pigments, mainly xanthophylls – which also function as an effective attractant and flavoring agent.
Aquasoja’s experience on the field with CROMA dictates the need for different feeding strategies according to the production system (cage or pond) and season of the year (low/high water temperature). The company offers a simulation on the cents per kg of fish produced this approach would value in the fish sale.