In Cyprus, nine (9) fattening farms are operating, all using offshore cage farming techniques, three (3) private marine fish hatchery stations are as well as a shrimp hatchery/breeding unit The main cultured species are seabream (Sparus aurata), seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax), meagre (Argyros omusregius), rabbit fish (Siganus rivulatus)and pandora (Pagellus erythrinus) red bream (Pagrus pagrus) and the Japannese bream (Pagrus major), with a total annual production of 7.303T. Nonetheless, the most important cultured marine fish species are the seabream and seabass with 4.885T and 2.389T of production respectively (DFMR 2018).
All fattening units are operating on an intensive basis by using marine offshore cages. Spatial allocation of the fish farms is selected taking to consideration the marine environment and eco-systems. All existing units are located within 1-4 km distance from the shore in water depths ranging from 20 to 70 m. This ensures a more environmental friendly approach of the activity as well as the compatible interaction with other economic activities of the coastal zone (tourism, fisheries etc.).
Additionally to the fattening units, three (3) private marine fish hatchery stations as well as a shrimp hatchery/breeding unit are operating in Cyprus. The facilities of the aforementioned units are located in the coastal area and they are operating on in intensive basis. Their total annual production was approximately 28,4 million fingerlings. The shrimp farm had a total annual production of 1.23 million larvae and 28T of table size shrimp. It has to be noted that the shrimp unit constitutes a unique facility in the Mediterranean basin as it has developed specialized biotechnology techniques.
The total national value of hatchery production is estimated at€ 4,73 million.
The majority of marine aquaculture production of table-size fish is destined for exportation with approximately 67% of the production in 2018 exported mainly to third counties as well as the EU. Export of seabass and seabream fry accounted for 31% of the total production.