The market for fresh sole and its importance in northern french fisheries



(Not controled OCR) Sole is a species whose market has been expanding steadily since the end of the 70's ; landings have doubled, from 4097t in 1979 to 8048t in 1987. In real terms (1980=100) the value of landings has increased from FF124 m to FF265 m over the same period. One must appreciate that the importance of fresh sole lies in its high valuation. Despite the fact that the species occupies no more than 1.66% of total landings in terms of weight, in value terms exceeds 8.5% of the total, making sole the third most valuable species in France. Sole is consumed essentialy fresh and its price to the consumer does not therefore depend on any transformation process. It depends solely on demand and supply (domestic landings plus imports) conditions. The role of supply is probably the dominant one. The evidence for such assertion may be found in the latest steep price increases which followed the imposition of strict fishing quotas in the Bay of Biscay in December 1988. Sole landings are concentrated between two geographical areas in France : the North-East coast and the Northern part of the Bay of Biscay. Between them they account for 25% and 41% of total sole landings in 1987. Imports of fresh and frozen sole represent a non-trivial part of total supply. Fresh sole imports have risen to 2516t in 1987 and they originate from the other North Sea fishing countries such at the Netherlands, Belgium and Britain. Sole exports consist primarily of small size fish and they are directed towards Spain and Italy. The importance of sole in the context of the Northern French fishing ports cannot be underestimated, the species represents a mere 2% of total tonnage but its value is in excess of 20% of the value of landings in the ports of Boulogne s/mer, Dunkerque and Dieppe. The aim of the following section to establish the extent that fresh sole prices quoted at these ports are related.

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Ioannidis Chris, Lantz Frederic (1990). The market for fresh sole and its importance in northern french fisheries. EAFE annual meeting Lisboa, INIP march 5-7 1990.

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