Market Opportunities for US Aquaculture Producers: The Case of Branzino
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AuthorAsche, Frank; Garlock, Taryn; Camp, Edward; Guillen, Jordi; Kumar Ganesh; Llorente García, Ignacio; Shamshak, Gina
© University of Chicago Press
Marine Resource Economics, volume 37, number 2, April 2022
University of Chicago Press
The US is the world's largest seafood importer by value, with an increasing share of imports composed of farmed seafood. Despite numerous policy initiatives, production and growth in the US aquaculture sector is limited, and there is a significant literature discussing potential explanations. In this paper the recent success of imported branzino is used to show that the market is not a constraint. Branzino is a portion-sized white-fleshed fish primarily farmed in the Mediterranean, with no obvious equivalents produced in the US. Since the turn of the century, imports have grown from zero to almost 10,000 metric tons, a quantity that would have made it the fourthlargest farmed fish species if produced in the US, and all is imported fresh. From 2015 when the quantities became more significant, the species entered the large whitefish market, although with a significant price premium relative to tilapia, the largest species in this market, indicating that the opportunity to create separate niches in the seafood market is limited.