The AdriaMed Meeting on Aspects of Fish Markets in the Adriatic Sea was held in Ancona, Italy, on the 27th – 28th June 2002. The meeting was attended by experts from Albania, Croatia and Italy. The main objective of the meeting was to gain a better understanding of the fish markets through the collection of relevant information available at national and international (Adriatic Sea) level. The development of research on economics related to the fish market sector was highlighted. A review on the involvement and increasing interest of Italian agricultural economists in the fishery sector was presented, and some methodological considerations were given on the main areas of interest for agricultural economists dealing with fisheries. In particular, the issue of which methods and approaches of agricultural economists are most useful to analyse the economics of fisheries was addressed. The importance of reliable fishery statistics and the constraints often imposed by their unavailability was pointed out with reference to all Adriatic coastal countries. The general issues concerning fish markets in the region were underlined through working papers reviewing the macroeconomic information on Albanian, Croatian and Italian fish market and trade. Some case studies on specific aspects of fish markets in the Adriatic Sea were presented: a) the case describing the market strategic choice made by the Ancona Fishery (Italy), which is based upon the quality certification of the fish product, with quality being a major economic support and incentive to reach sustainability within the sector; and b) the case study of the Termoli fishery (Italy), which was given as example of how production costs and market aspects can affect relatively small local fisheries. References to the EU directive n.493 of 1991, which gives new tasks to the functioning of fish markets, were made: the importance of not dismantling fish markets but instead rationalising them was underlined. Among the various and diverse aspects influencing the fish markets in the Adriatic Sea region, the most relevant were identified. First of all, fish marketing and trading systems in the Adriatic are very different. They are more developed in some countries and less developed in others, where they are currently being improved. There was general agreement on the fact that without a fish market system and a related proper legislation framework, there is little chance of rationalising fisheries in the Adriatic basin.
As most fishery resources in the Adriatic Sea are shared by the fleets of coastal countries, it emerged that trade is also somewhat shared, as resources are the same both from the point of view of their distribution and exploitation, and that of trading. Import and export dynamics are particularly important for the region: this aspect should be increasingly investigated because it is very complex. The absence in some countries of fish markets from an institutional point of view is to be particularly stressed. Another issue that emerged from the meeting was the need to invest in quality as a positive effort. Lastly, it was concurred that the development of a common strategy not only for fishery management but also for fishery product marketing and trading would be highly desirable. Moreover, the necessity to foster the participation of the Adriatic socio-economic experts in an international context such as the Sub-Committee on Social and Economic Sciences of the GFCM-SAC was underlined.