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Moroccan fish on Lorient auction

Published by FiskerForum, 20-10-2017 · info@fiskerforum.dk

An initiative to bring fish from Morocco to the French port of Lorient was announced at the Itech’Mer exhibition, currently taking place in Lorient. The first trial shipments of groundfish species from Safi in Morocco have been sent and sold on Lorient’s auction. Only the unusually large sizes of the Moroccan fish indicated that it was anything out of the ordinary.

Norbert Métairie, president of Lorient-Agglomération and mayor of Lorient and Maurice Benoish, president of the Lorient-Keroman welcomed a delegation from Safi as guests of honour at France’s only commercial fishing exhibition.

‘We in Lorient to find solutions for handling fish on board and maximising catch values, acquiring technology for our trawlers and to seek training for our skills and skills for the future boat of our artisanal and industrial fleets,’ said Hassan Saadouni of the Morocccan Federation of Coastal Fishermen, commenting that the initiative brings together the ports of Safi and Lorient, and the two have much in common.

The initial meetings took place in Agadir earlier this year, leading to the pilot shipments that have been sold the Lorient auction’s online buyers.

Red mullet, John Dory and sea bream were in the initial consignments, and there are possibilities for other species.

Norbert Métairie commented that the buyers are happy with the quality of the fish from Safi, not least as these are familiar species for the French market for which there is a demand.

‘When we have larger volumes to ship, we will be able to iron out any problems,’ he said, adding that they are aiming for two shipments each week.

‘It’s important to diversify,’ Maurice Benoish said. ‘We could find ourselves losing some of the fish that comes to Lorient post-Brexit and we didn’t want to wait. We wanted to explore solutions before we have a problem. This boosts Lorient’s place on the market. We have a strong group of buyers and that attracts quality products. There are more than 220 buyers, located all over France and in Spain, who buy remotely from Lorient.’

According to Hassan Saadouni, there is scope for co-operation on many levels, and he would like to convince other Moroccan ports to set up similar ventures.

‘We would like to see Lorient as a reference port for Morocco,’ he said.

Fishing gear technologist Patrick Cousin has already started work on evaluating fishing techniques in Safi, assessing purse seine, trawl and longline fisheries carried out by the coastal fleet, with a view to coming up with proposals to help them reduce running costs and work towards boosting catch values.

Source: H&N

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