Food prices have certainly become a hot topic recently, and so has food quality. With oil spills, nuclear waste scares, and natural disasters constantly threatening the quality of the world’s food supply, businesses have to be more careful with what food they sell. Still the exporting of food seems to continue to increase. Fish exports in particular have seen a huge increase in global demand.
Trade barriers are falling all over the world and new opportunities are constantly presenting themselves to local fisheries. Recently, Scotland and China have begun a trade deal that has excited the Scottish salmon industry. China is a great market for fish. While the Chinese produce a large amount of fish, they also generate a huge demand for fish imports as well. With China becoming an available market, Scotland’s salmon exports could as much as double due to this increase in demand. The fish farming industry in Scotland already provides thousands of local jobs, and the increase in demand from China will only help to create more.
Another fish that is seeing huge global export success is the basa fish (a type of catfish). This fish has had success in Europe, the United States, India, China, Thailand, and many other Asian countries. So what makes the basa fish so globally successful? First, it is very easy to farm which allows the fisheries to keep up with demand. Second, it is extremely easy to descale and debone, which allows farmers to make fillets quickly. After that they freeze dry the fish so they can be shipped all over the world while remaining fresh. Third, it is aesthetically appealing because of its color, texture, and lack of smell. Basa fish can be found in Vietnam, Thailand, China, and Cambodia, but Vietnam dominates the market controlling over 99% of the exports.
Some major issues that fish exporters face are quality and environmental standards. There are many environmentalists that are strongly opposing the increase in fish farming in Scotland. Because of this it is important for fisheries to be sure that they remain sustainable, even with the increase in demand. Natural disasters can also play a large role in this industry. For example, the tragedy in Japan has led to questions about the contamination of fish. When events like this happen, fisheries have to be particularly thorough when ensuring quality. Still, Scottish salmon and Vietnamese basa continue to thrive in the global market. There’s nothing fishy about that!