The consumption of fish is increasing steadily each year in France. It has now reached around 35 kg / year /inhabitant.
The shortage of the resource and the need to limit catches is leading to a progressive decrease in the landings of fresh fish. Today, these are around 330,000 tons, whereas these tonnages were still close to 400,000 tons about 10 years ago.
To compensate for the lack and irregularity in the supply of fresh fish and to satisfy consumer expectations who, on the whole, prefer «fresh», we have recently witnessed the increased presence of a movement that aims to stock fresh fish departments with thawed fish.
For players in the industry, the possibility to supply the market with thawed products enables them to guarantee their customers a price and regular volumes.
Another trend is appearing on the horizon with some ship owners who are preparing to transform their fresh fish trawlers into freezer ships. This will make it possible for them to even out their sales and to offer fish traders several species of fish at regular intervals throughout the year.
On another point and to follow up on the study carried out by the GEM agency for France Agrimer in 2009 « on the possible use of species in French fishing which are currently under-promoted», it would be interesting to study the promotion of certain categories of these pre-frozen fish in order to be able to market them at a more opportune moment, when there is higher market demand (stormy period for example).
This situation is expressed by very high expectations from professionals (ship-owners, professional warehouse organisations, fish traders?) with a view towards either setting up their aquatic products 'thawing' workshops or bringing them into compliance. These expectations also require the acquisition of scientific, economic and technical data and references in order to implement these operations, which are sometimes deemed to be sensitive as far as health is concerned.
This project was labellised by the AQUIMER Pole of Competitiveness on the 8th November, 2010.