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Projects / Programmes source: ARRS

Quality of fish on Slovenian market and analysis of possibilities to adjust supply to demand with respect to secure nutritional safety and increase competitiveness of fisheries and aquaculture (Healthy fish - healthy as fish: competitive fishermen - satisfied consumer)

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
4.02.04  Biotechnical sciences  Animal production  Processing of animal raw materials 

Code Science Field
B402  Biomedical sciences  Aquaculture, pisciculture 

Code Science Field
4.01  Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences  Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries 
Keywords
Fisheries/aquaculture/quality/nutritional safety/production/consumption
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (18)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publications
1.  28675  PhD Urša Golob Podnar  Sociology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  445 
2.  12315  PhD Ester Heath  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2011 - 2014  540 
3.  05027  PhD Milena Horvat  Chemistry  Researcher  2011 - 2014  1,806 
4.  08405  PhD Marija Klopčič  Animal production  Researcher  2011 - 2014  689 
5.  27733  PhD Tina Kosjek  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2014  327 
6.  33325  PhD Urška Kristan  Plant production  Junior researcher  2011 - 2014  33 
7.  15194  PhD Alenka Levart  Animal production  Researcher  2011 - 2014  309 
8.  18287  PhD Darja Mazej  Chemistry  Researcher  2011 - 2014  350 
9.  30883  PhD Ana Miklavčič Višnjevec  Chemistry  Junior researcher  2011 - 2013  105 
10.  17520  Anica Mušič    Technician  2011 - 2014 
11.  23577  PhD Andrej Osterc  Chemistry  Researcher  2011 - 2012  44 
12.  08946  Silva Perko    Technician  2011 - 2014  51 
13.  21606  PhD Klement Podnar  Sociology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  532 
14.  06832  PhD Jurij Pohar  Animal production  Researcher  2011 - 2014  212 
15.  00886  PhD Janez Salobir  Animal production  Researcher  2011 - 2014  625 
16.  01873  PhD Vekoslava Stibilj  Chemistry  Principal Researcher  2011 - 2014  686 
17.  17515  Janez Vidmar    Technician  2011 - 2014 
18.  25667  PhD Tea Zuliani  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2014  277 
Organisations (3)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publications
1.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  84,952 
2.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  64,093 
3.  0582  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences  Ljubljana  1626957  39,009 
Abstract
Total yearly fish production in Slovenia (fisheries catch and aquaculture) in the last years amounted around 3000 metric tons. The average consumption of fish per capita in the same period was 7 kg, what places the Slovenia among countries with the lowest fish consumption in Europe. The percentage of domestic production in the total fish consumption is therefore only around 20%; nevertheless domestic producer of some species have problems in placing their products on the market due to low competitiveness. Detailed data about fish consumption in different regions, age and economical segments, as well as data about preferences, perceptions and obstacles regarding fish consumption are scarce. The systematically done analysis of nutritional quality of fish and contents of elements harmful or beneficial for human health are also missing. Even the nutritional quality and safety are important there are also other factors like physical and sensorial parameters of food, price, availability, convenience as well as personal interest for health and healthy nutrition which influence fish consumption. In the research project the fish which are in Slovenia the most important from production and consumption side will be analyzed for presence of heavy metals and polychlorinated biphenyls and the chemical composition with the special emphasis on fatty acids will be determined. By comparing results determined for different species and paralleling them with the standards the suitability of consumption for the health reasons will be assessed. By using quantitative research methods detailed data about type, amount, temporal distribution and type of catching or production method and placing of fish on the market will be collected. Qualitative research methods will be used to combine these data with the data how producers perceive the situation on the supply side of market regarding issues mentioned, and about possible solutions of the problems which they face. On the demand side of market, the data about fish consumption within different geographical and age segments regarding type, place, amount and frequency of purchase will be gathered using quantitative research methods: while qualitative research methods will be used to get insight into perception regarding different parameters (origin, freshness, quality control, safety) and their influence on purchasing behavior. Recommendations which strategies could be employed by governmental and nongovernmental organizations to inform different publics regarding safety and health issues associated with the consumption of fish for the sake of improved nutritional security will be done on the basis of combined and synthetized research findings. Knowing general marketing situation and production potential and capacities of producers will make it possible to identify their strengths, weaknesses, threads and opportunities. Producers will be advised how to take opportunities and how to avoid threads identified and how advantages of domestic producers over competitors from abroad could be increased.  Research findings will be useful for governmental organizations and institutions to prepare measures for improving competitiveness of domestic producers (fisherman and aquaculturists), to change patterns of food consumption and to improve nutritional safety and general health condition of population.
Significance for science
From scientific point of view the particular importance of project can be found in the fact that the combination of research methods from natural and social sciences were used what made possible that problems were observed holistically and solutions found were complex. The analytical methods used for determination of harmful and health beneficial substances in fish were comparable to the methods which other authors had used when analyzing other population of fish. At the same time the employment of research methods such as conjoint and focus group interview used to determine perception of different species and categories of fish by Slovene consumers made possible to compare our results with results in other countries. The research standards were therefore set which enable researchers that in future the named problems will be approached consistently and complexly.
Significance for the country
Results of the project indicate that different stakeholders had poor and/or wrong conception regarding the importance of fish for providing healthy diet or regarding the amount of substances which are harmful for someone’s health. At the same time results also indicate that impression about importance of fish caught or farmed in Slovenia for supplying the market was also wrong both from the point of quantity and quality of fish. One of the results of our research, namely the determination of objective quality of different fishes, measured by amount of different substances which are either beneficial or harmful for health, will enable consumers to make an informed buying decision. By this their food safety will be improved. The second result of our research which is determination of factors influencing the perceived quality of fish will help fishermen and fish farmers to develop marketing mix and to select business model by which their competitiveness will be improved.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2011, 2012, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report
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