Food production is essential to provide food availability and security for the population. In the European Union, the poultry industry is one of the most important in the world, producing 14.4 million tons of chicken meat for domestic consumption and export.
On the other hand, the aquaculture industry, although important in terms of food security and nutrition, is more modest, providing only a supply of 1.4 million tons of fish and shellfish, which leaves a gap of more than 70% of the gap; worthy of demand. Unlike the poultry industry, due to this low production, the demand for fish and shellfish depends mainly on imports from third countries.
More specifically in Europe we have 60,000 barrels of sea and sea, which are mainly imported from Turkey; and 80% of the salmon consumed comes from Norway.
Chicken and fish are two sources of protein of great importance for nutritional quality and for the amino acids necessary for the growth and maintenance of the organism. However, if fish do not win in anything, it is in the contribution of omega-3 fatty acids, which are necessary for proper human health.
Both servers enjoy a good image and are considered healthy options. However, it is not easy to determine which protein has the best reception in terms of image, as it depends on many different factors. It is true, in general it can be said that the chicken, having a lower cost and mobility in the kitchen, is better received. For its part, fish is valued for its flavor, texture and its omega-3 nutritional values.
Through all of this, it’s worth asking why farm fish aren’t taking over the chicken industry in the same place? Despite strict regulations on food safety, animal health and animal welfare in the EU, the lack of promotion of domestic aquaculture is unusual compared to chicken, which is entirely raised in the EU itself.
Considering both regulations, we found that those applied to aquaculture are more complex and less effective than those applied to chickens due to the less well-known needs of the sector, the variety of species and the different conditions of production.
Although not without controversy, the chicken industry could present challenges in terms of social acceptance, especially in terms of animal welfare and environmental sustainability better than aquaculture. This is partly because poultry farming has long been present in rural communities and has developed as an important economic activity, while aquaculture is relatively new and less well known.
What is learned? One of the things that helped the poultry industry was more socially accepted and proved to be more effective in managing these problems and sharing public practices.
Therefore, one of the possible answers is to improve the transparency and communication of their production activities. This includes using animal welfare certifications and labels, promoting more sustainable technologies, and openly communicating with the public about production methods and improving sustainability and animal welfare.
Functions that are already applied at various levels to the industry and the competent authorities in the development of the aquaculture industry, mainly in Europe and the countries, and which are missing at a regional and local level.