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Brittany Fishermen Invest In Frozen Prawns

31 August 2010

FRANCE - The fishing port of Loctudy in Finistere, Brittany has announced an investment of €1.8m in freezing facilities capable of treating 1,000 tonnes of product per year.

The new facility is due for completion in Spring 2011 and will allow prawns from Brittany to compete in the frozen prawn market. This will enable Breton fishermen to turn to the frozen market when prices on the fresh market fall as happens typically in early summer at the height of the Breton prawn fishing season.

The facility will have cold storage capacity of 100 tonnes but also vivier storage of 15 tonnes for large live prawns brought in by trawlers equipped with vivier tanks fishing off the South of Ireland. It is hoped that the new facilities will help increase returns by tempering seasonal price fluctuations and offering a longer sales period.

Loctudy is one of the 7 Cornouaille network of fish auctions and renowned for prawn landings of 1,000 tonnes annually. The prawns (Nephrops) market has been particularly difficult in 2009 due to competition from cheaper currency bases, notably tropical prawns. The market remains difficult, recent Kantar World panel statistics show a decline of 2.9 per cent in volumes sold for home consumption in the first five months of 2010 compared to 2009. Price on the other hand is showing a timid recovery of one per cent.

The French market consumes on average 14,500 tonnes of prawns (Nephrops norvegicus) annually, of which an estimated 5,000 tonnes are fished in France, 10,000 tonnes imported and 500 tonnes exported. The fresh market represents an estimated 85 per cent of volumes.

TheFishSite News Desk



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