A sharp increase in fish consumption, especially in Europe, caused by consumer bird flu fears, has raised concern in the Brazilian government, reports minister of Fish, José Fritsch.
According to Fritsch, the sudden move to fish by consumers is distorting the international market.
"We have information that there is pressure on fish prices on the international market. In response to the demand, Brazilian and foreign fish exporters are looking at Brazilian fish production. The biggest demand is for salt-water fish," says Fritsch, who adds that the Brazilian government is studying ways and means to increase fish production.
More credit, better production chain organization and technical assistance are among the measures that should be implanted in the fish production sector, says the Minister.
At the same time, animal sanitation is getting special attention. "Sanitation controls are very important if we want to ensure that our products are attractive on international markets," declared the Minister.
Fritsch concluded by saying that along with the spike in fish consumption, the sharp drop in chicken consumption may be problematic. "Brazil is a big chicken exporter and a drop in sales will cause serious problems here."