The Bay of Vlora is located in the edge of the Adriatic and Ionian seas and placed in a very well protected environment, far from marine storms and naval traffic. Close to Karaburuni peninsula and in front of Vlora city there is an area highly suitable for the natural fish farming in the sea and these were the best conditions for the establishment of the Orata fish farm. The company is specialised in fish farm cultivation of sea bream and sea basses, that are products very much required from the local market as well by export into European Union countries, particularly in Italy and Greece. This sea fish farm initiative is based entirely on the use of the best modern technologies well adopted to local conditions.
"Orata" Ltd. - AlbaniaLead applicant
"Orata" company is specialized only in producing fresh sea bream and European Brass fish from marine farms cultivation. This company since its inception and up to date has no other activity besides being widely available on this two king of sea fresh fishes and its activity are is concentrated only in Vlora Bay.
Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Water Administration - AlbaniaInitiative partner
It is a governmental entity which has on is focus: Agriculture and livestock; rural development, water administration, advisory servise for farmers, fisheries, irrigation and drainage, food safety...
Albanian Agrobusiness Council - AlbaniaInitiative partner
The idea of implementing this project of a large sea fish farming was born primarily from the use of natural diversity resources of the Vlora Bay particularly from its very convenient location. This area and all Albanian coastal zone has had no big investments of this kind. Based on the Albanian strategy for supporting tourism in the country and for the needs of population and tourists for large amounts of fresh fish, this project has a strong sustainable background for the future and its economic efficiency is secure. This project is not focused only on securing quantity of two main fish races, but first of all and in their nutrition values, ranking it at the primary voices of the Albanian fishery export products. The initiative has managed to integrate the appropriate technologies towards the cultivation of sea bras and sea bass in sea fishing farm.
These are the main innovations developed throughout this practice:
- Introduction of best selected sea bream and sea brass fishes imported from Israeli genetic centres;
- High quality nutrition imported fish food. All was tested in the laboratory prior of its use;
- Disease monitoring;
- High storage and packaging standards to fulfil the international export requirements;.
The fishery sector in Albania is relatively small, however it is important from a socio-economic point of view for the jobs it provides. The fishing fleet in Albania is made of 552 vessels (as of November 2013), of which about 40% are small polyvalent vessels less than 6 m long. Vessels above 12 m represent some 43% and they are relatively old (more than 35 years). The main gear used is trawls (about 38% of the total number). Marine fish catches have increased from 1,373 tonnes in 2001 to 2,374 tonnes in 2012. Demersal species make up 35-40% of the catches. Marine cage culture activities are concentrated in the Ionian Sea where 26 operators farm gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata) and European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax). Mollusc (Mytilus galloprovincialis) cultivation is concentrated in the Butrinti lagoon with some activity also in the open sea at Shengjini Bay (around 100 ha with floating lines).
This project have been very successful. The main results achieved are:
- Establishment of 34 fish cages with diameters till 60 meters, the first of this kind in Albania;
- Cultivation of around 3,000,000 fishes for a period of 15 months;
- Production of 1,600 tons of fresh sea bream and sea brass;
- Almost 30 % of the fresh sea fish production was exported;
- Each year the activity is increasing;
- Extensive training of local staff working in the fish farm.
The implementation of this practice, besides the direct benefit of its investors has provided tens of jobs to local people. In addition the whole production value chain has benefited, including here the transport, packaging, storing, refrigerating and marketing sectors. In addition the trade export is providing important benefits to local economy.
Sea bream fish and sea bass fish are produced from Vlora bay by this practice that differs from other products on the mode of cultivation, and its quality products may be found in various sales points, as:
• Direct sales in the stores and packaging of the "Orata" company's collection point;
• The majority of the fish markets;
• Sales point in different cities;
• Hypermarkets (e.g. Euromax, Carrefour, Mercator, Conad)
Orata fish farming company employs 25 fulltime workers. Many other people are involved in the support activities including various sectors of the economy.
The implementation of this new initiative had to overpass numerous difficulties:
- Securing investment funds;
- Lack of sea bream and sea brass fish seedlings in the local market;
- Lack of trained people to use new technologies;
- Lack of proper machineries;
- Lack of processing capacity in the area when the investment started;
- Lack of infrastructure on Karaburuni peninsula.
- Problems with infrastructure for processing and marketing of products;
- Lack of policies for sea farm fishing cultivation;
- The products quality is also penalised from uncontrolled imported frozen fish.
This practice make use of the most environmentally friendly technologies. The products coming from the fish farm are guaranteed and always under strict control. All the European Union fishery legislation is strictly implemented and this is the best guarantee for the quality of exported product that is in high demand especially in Italy. This makes the Orata company based in Vlora one reliable trading partner in the region.
This new practice of sea fish farming is being transferred also to other farms in the lora bay quite close with "Orata" sea fish farm.
The practice is being disseminated through visits into the fish farm of the public as well as by the organisation of the fish fair in Vlora during the summer season.