Adequate climatic conditions (from the warm coasts along eastern Spain – Valencia and Murcia – along with the windy coasts of southeast Andalusia) and fish stocks around the Spanish coasts, as well as the need Of conserving fish (among other reasons, to satisfy the internal demand), have favored the salting of fish in Spain since time immemorial. There are indications that salted fish have been produced here from the Phoenicians, and during the Roman era, which was prepared in the same factories as the famous garum, a kind of fish sauce, crushed in brine and fermented in the sun.


The production of smoked fish in Spain stood at 11,610 tonnes in the last financial year, with a significant year-on-year reduction of 9.3%, although in figures it remained virtually identical to the previous year, with 170.3 million tonnes Euros. The market, on the other hand, sold about 16,000 tonnes of smoked fish, 2.5% more than the previous year, for a value of 218.5 million euros. Salmon is the star product within this market, since it accounts for 91.3% of all sales in volume and 91.7% in value. At a great distance, the cod are situated, with respective quotas of 3.5% and 3.3%, trout (2.7% and 2.6%), palometa (1.1% and 0.8%) and assortments (1% and 1.2%). All other presentations represent the remaining 0.4% by volume and value. The main players in the sector are betting on the seasonality of consumption, still very concentrated in the Christmas period, and the presentation of new offers with greater added value as the main strategies to increase their market shares. Regarding the preparation of dry, salted, brine or smoked products, the main products correspond to the drying of cod, with more than 13000 tonnes of production, smoked salmon, more than 10,500 salted sardines, with about 1,200 and the salting of anchovy with more than 1,400 (according to MAGRAMA data). Salted fillets in salt or brine, the drying of non-smoked fish and smoked fish, including fillets, are the most common presentations.
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Montse Gonzalez