CROATIA - Croatia’s fish and seafood market has reported a slight increase over the past years, but domestic consumption remains at a relatively low level of about 8.5 kg per capita, according to data released by the country’s central statistical office DZS.
Currently, only about 3 per cent of Croats eat fish and seafood every day, and an average Croatian household spends an estimated 4 per cent of its budget on purchases of fish and seafood, as indicated by figures from the DZS.
“In Croatia, the most popular fish are sardines and anchovies, followed by mackerel,” Dr Jakov Dulcic, an ichthyologist from the Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (IZOR) in Split, on the Croatian Adriatic Sea shore, told local daily 24 Sata.
Sardines remain the most popular fish species in the Croatian market, and as much as 27 per cent of Croatians say that it is their most often choice among the available fish.
According to the Croatian researcher, the country’s fish and seafood market is increasingly dominated by imports from a number of foreign markets. These comprise the Scandinavian countries, South America, and African states, in particular Morocco.
On average, Croatia’s inhabitants spend some HRK 840 (€112) on fish per year. This translates into an estimated HRK 3.6 billion (€481.3 million) worth of fish and seafood sales per year.
On a related note, local observers say that the popularity of imported fish in the country’s market is predominantly related to their competitive prices in relation to Croatian output. Dulcic said that, while the groupers and mackerels which are imported from Morocco are characterised by a high quality, they are not of higher quality than the fish caught by Croatian fishermen in the Adriatic Sea.
Croatia has a coastline on the Adriatic Sea that has a length of some 1,777 km.