Aquaculture Investment Plans & Funding

22 sea bream & sea bass farms | € 14 million grant funding

The rapid growth of the Greek aquaculture sector has been well-documented. Starting in the mid-1980s, this sector saw the establishment of a number of small, artisanal fish farms, mostly for sea bass and sea bream.

These Greek fish farming units focussed on simple cage farming. Processing was usually in the form of freezing or chilling fish for whole consumption. Filleting or other processing forms are not widely utilised, given difficulties with fish morphology and processing equipment. The domestic or export marketing of Greek sea bass and sea bream was usually left to third parties.

By the late 1990s, the Greek aquaculture sector was undergoing rapid consolidation. This was led by large, integrated enterprises, many of them listed on the Athens Stock Exchange and with the political connections necessary to benefit from investment subsidies and funding programmes.

Navigator has extensive experience in the Greek fisheries and aquaculture sector. This is illustrated by the fact that we have implemented 22 investment feasibility studies and funding applications for Greek entrepreneurs under National Development Funds 4028/86, 3699/93 and 1262/1892.

The total volume of investment funds granted was EUR 14,182,500, representing an average of 45 - 50% of the total investment costs for each client. Over 450 work places were created as a result.

The majority of applications were for sea bass and sea bream aquaculture production, with an average unit size between 200 - 600 tonnes per year. The method of production was in each case offshore cage farms.

 

Our work included:

 

  • Fish farm site selection and assessment of water depth, currents, wave intensity and chemistry

  • Planning land and sea installations

  • Planning configurations of sea cages and onshore freezing and storage facilities

  • Investment costs calculations for fish farms, usually from 120 - 600 tonnes annual production

  • Assessment of raw material and input supplies, including fish fry and food

  • Staffing rosters and costs

  • Modelling of operating costs and cash flows using integrated, dynamic financial models

  • Calculation of key financial ratios

  • Risk assessment

  • Preparation and submission of EU grant funding applications. 

At present, the Greek fish farming sector remains highly fragmented, with many small fish farms producing a highly commoditised fish (sea bass, sea bream). While other species are cultivated, the sector in general is affected by low economies of scale, long cash flow cycles and strong competition from other suppliers, notably Turkey. Any investor in this sector today must carefully plan an investment, starting with value-added production, competitive differentiation and branding and direct market access either within Greece or to export markets. 

While the Greek aquaculture sector offers many opportunities for mergers & acquisitions, the operating environment remains extremely difficult and licenses to expand production and gain economies of scale are difficult to obtain. 

For further information on fish farming investments in Greece, please contact us