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CLARA MOSCHINI

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Christmas, fish on the eve for 15 million Italian families

Fish turnover of the holidays at -25%, reports PescAgri-Cia

Covid and tight travel will not deprive Italians of the fish menu, typical of Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. It will be brought to the table in 2 out of 3 houses, with an average cost of € 70 per unit, compared to € 90 last year. For about 15 million families the choice of the menu will be oriented to poor traditional recipes with tuna and cod or fish such as sea bream for not too elaborate dishes. An estimate is made by the analysis of PescAgri, the Italian fishermen association promoted by Cia and which already counts for the fishing sector, in this 2020, a decrease in turnover of over 40%. Negative sign due to product surplus and drop in prices mainly due to restrictions on restaurants, catering and hotels.

To radically affect fish consumption during the holidays, explains AgriPesca-Cia, the impact of the Dpmc on dinners, strictly at home and, presumably, for no more than 6 people, at least on 24 December. This aspect will proportionally reduce the quantities purchased which, on average for Christmas and New Year's shopping, will not exceed 3 kg per cart. You will tend to be more precise in portions, but also to choose fresh fish. The typical dishes of the eve will win, therefore on the Italian coasts, those more linked to the cuisine based on local fish and elaborate recipes, while in the hinterland the more essential ones, with fresh and transformed products will be preferred. Cod and tuna, but also anchovies, sardines and mackerel, sea bream and sea bass will have the most on the most prized catch. Molluscs and crustaceans, protagonists of parties in restaurants and hotels, will experience a serious decline.

According to PescAgri-Cia, the data of the wholesale fish market of Chioggia, which today counts only 2 days of work a week, when especially at the end of the year, before Covid, we have always worked tirelessly. As a consequence, the significant losses, already recorded in November, in terms of volumes of the local product: crustaceans (-31%), white fish (-17%) and molluscs that hold up better (-5%). As for the economic value, the catch of Chioggia is already at -22% for the month of November alone compared to 2019. Compared to 2019, the foreign product in November made a -78% in terms of volumes. The national picture stands more or less on the same figures and warns about the risk for fresh and made in Italy. The fish sector will lose 300 million euros in turnover with the holidays alone.

"It is difficult to think of small dinners for New Year's Eve, but excluding catering, home cooking will still be inevitable for over 5 million Italians. The 15% of consumers inclined to take away menus will really be needed. This trend is worth a total of about 5 billion , while the restrictions imposed on horeca have so far removed almost 41 billion from the food sector ", adds PescAgri-Cia.

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EFA News - European Food Agency
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