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Nile Perch Production – April 2012

30 April 2012

While Nile perch popularity in the German market was enhanced by Naturland certification, the US will probably face strong competition from Australian barramundi.

As ethically produced and environmentally friendly seafood is becoming more important for consumers, the achievement of certification standards and the right to display these logos give producing companies a competitive edge, although the price premium achieved may still be modest.

Uganda’s Nile Perch Fisheries

A report published in October 2011 by the South African Institute of International Affairs draws attention to the problems of the Nile perch fishery in Uganda. The report cites difficulties of governance of fisheries in Uganda and urges the passing of a Fisheries Bill, many years in draft form, as a start to the recovery of Nile perch on the Ugandan side of the lake, as well as co-operation and dialogue between interested parties. The report says that Nile perch is a resilient and productive species and should respond well to improved management.

European Market for Nile Perch

From January to September 2011, the EU imported 32,300 tonnes of Nile perch fillets, showing only small decreases in volumes compared with the same period of 2010. In this period, Tanzania was by far the biggest supplier for European countries with 12,300 tonnes, followed by Uganda and Kenya.

From January to September 2011, total volumes in the three African countries exported to the EU in 2011 declined by 5.7 per cent compared with the same period of 2010..

Prices of Nile perch were at their highest in 2009, reaching a peak of €7.00 for larger sized fish and dropped further to €4.50 by June 2011.

Competitor for Nile Perch

A study reports Australian barramundi has been recognized as one of the foods likely to could become a strong competitor for the Nile perch market and crucially, with a better image, since the “flesh is extremely low in toxin levels, but full of heart and brain healthy omega 3s”. Barramundi imports into the USA are increasingly considered to be on a par with, or better than, Nile perch. They are expected to gain more acceptance on US menus.

Outlook

The drop in demand for pangasius and the increase in the value of marketing of certified Nile perch in the EU could give an extra boost to the fishery products coming from Lake Victoria.

April 2012

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