Meagre

Argyrosomus regius

Method of production — Farmed
Production country — Europe
Production method — Open net pen
Picture of Meagre

Sustainability rating four info

Sustainability overview

Farmed meagre is emerging into the UK market. It is farmed in Mediterranean countries, mainly in Italy. Although it can be farmed in both land based systems and in open sea pens it is mainly farmed in the sea in open pens. As with most open intensive production the environmental impacts can include disease transfer and pollution issues, feed use and its sustainability is also a concern.

Feed Resources

Criterion Score: -4 

Meagre are fed a commercial diet. The traceability and sourcing of ingredients is unknown, they also require a high percentage of fishmeal and fish oil in their diets.

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Environmental Impacts

Criterion Score: -1 

Production for meagre is small scale and as such its overall environmental impacts are likely to reflect this, however there is very little specific data available in regards to discharges, disease outbreaks and predator interactions.

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Fish Health and Welfare

Criterion Score: -1

There is no information on welfare and slaughter standards. Regional disease outbreak is thought unlikely given the small scale of production.

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Management

Criterion Score: -1

Overall management requires improvement as although regulations are in place their enforcement and effectiveness is unknown. There is no strategic environmental planning system in place that incorporates meagre production, there is also no independent certification of the species.

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Production method

Open net pen

Meagre are farmed in open net pens in the sea. These are floating cages suspended in the sea and held in place by moorings underneath the cages. Water flows through the cages which are made of strong netting that also allow waste to fall through to the sea bed below.

Alternatives

Based on method of production, fish type, and consumer rating: only fish rated 2 and below are included as an alternative in the list below. Click on a name to show the sustainable options available.

Basa, Tra, Catfish or Vietnamese River Cobbler
Bass, seabass (Farmed)
Bream, Gilthead (Farmed)
Cod, Atlantic Cod
Cod, Pacific Cod
Coley, Saithe
Haddock
Hake, Cape
Hake, European
Pollock, Alaska, Walleye
Sturgeon (Farmed)
Tilapia
Whiting

Biology

Argyrosomus regius or meagre is a fish of the Sciaenidae family. It has a similar form to a European seabass, with a pearly-silver coloration and a yellow-coloured mouth. Length can range from 4050 cm to 2 m long, with weights up to 55 kg. Distributed across Eastern Atlantic: Norway to West Africa, including the Mediterranean and western end of Black Sea and Sea of Marmara. Also in lakes of Nile delta and Bitter Lakes to Gulf of Suez; has migrated to the Red Sea via Suez Canal. The biggest fish are found along the coast of West Africa. In Senegal, in the bay of Dakar seems to be the southern limit of the species; big schools of meagre are found around wrecked ships that were sunk to create habitats for several commercial species. Adult meagre stay in deeper water (to 300m) in winter and move inshore in mid-April and enter estuaries to spawn (anadromous migration). During the spawning season, males produce a typical deep sound, by pushing their abdominal muscles against the gas bladder. A 1.2 m female produces about 800 000 eggs, spawning occurs at 17-22 degrees C. Juveniles stay in shallow water and eat small fish and crustaceans . When they reach 30-40 cm, they feed on pelagic fish and cephalopods, the adult diet.

References

FAO 2005-2018. Cultured Aquatic Species Information Programme. Argyrosomus regius. Cultured Aquatic Species Information Programme. Text by Stipa, P.; Angelini, M. In: FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department [online]. Rome. Updated 10 February 2005. [Cited 7 September 2018]. FAO 2005-2018. National Aquaculture Legislation Overview. France. National Aquaculture Legislation Overview (NALO) Fact Sheets. Text by D'Andrea, A. In: FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department [online]. Rome. Updated 1 February 2005. [Cited 7 September 2018]. & FAO 2005-2018.National Aquaculture Legislation Overview. Italy. National Aquaculture Legislation Overview (NALO) Fact Sheets. Text by D'Andrea, A. In: FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department [online]. Rome. Updated 10 March 2005. [Cited 7 September 2018].