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FEAP awards Gustavo Larrazábal

With almost forty years in the seabass and seabream sector, Larrazábal has also been a key member of European aquaculture organizations.

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Gustavo Larrazábal
June 20, 2023

The Federation of European Aquaculture Producers (FEAP) held its 2023 Annual General Meeting in Malta on May 25-26. During the meeting, this year’s FEAP Award recognized the exceptional contribution to the development of fish farming in Europe. The person selected to receive this acknowledgment is decided by the previous recipients of the award following the proposals received from national fish farming associations throughout Europe.

The winner of FEAP 2023 Award was Gustavo Larrazábal. Larrazábal, an engineer by education, initiated his path in aquaculture in 1984 in Spain. Today, he drives Aquanaria S.L. After almost forty years in the very complex seabass and seabream sector, Gustavo has been able to build a company that excels in the production of a specialized fish product: extra-large fresh seabass. Its fish are farmed offshore in the Canary Islands and are placed on high-level markets free from the risks and volatility of the usual fish commodities. To reach this situation, Larrazábal has skilfully survived 39 years of the deadly boom and bust cycles of the Mediterranean seabass and seabream sector.

His company was previously called Tinamenor S.A., based in northern Spain. This was one of the first hatcheries of seabass and seabream in Europe, besides other species like turbot, sole and several mollusks. Since the early days of Mediterranean aquaculture, when mass production of juveniles was a dream, Gustavo pioneered the production of juveniles and successfully delivered them throughout Europe. His enthusiasm and hard work boosted Mediterranean aquaculture from its first required stage in the early eighties: hatchery production of quality juveniles. This undertaking expanded its activities to on-growing seabass in the Canary Islands and there it continues successfully today under the Aquanaria brand.

In Spain, APROMAR, the Spanish aquaculture association, was founded in 1986 when marine fish aquaculture in the Mediterranean was at its inception. Gustavo was one of the leaders at that time, alongside Lazaro Rosa (Cupimar S.A.) that, by the way, received the FEAP Award in 2010 in Malta. Larrazábal became the first president of APROMAR in 1986 and was continuously and unanimously re-elected for the post until 2003. Gustavo continues today to be a key member of the board of APROMAR.

The Federation of European Aquaculture Producers (FEAP) was founded in 1968 as the Federation Européenne de la Salmoniculture (FES). When the federation expanded its scope and embraced Mediterranean aquaculture in the early nineties, Gustavo was one of the drivers for bringing the issues of seabass and seabream to the European level, alongside other Greek and French entrepreneurs. Gustavo has been vice-president of the FEAP from 2003 until 2019. He has provided a clear business sense to the governance of the federation and is still today actively participating in FEAP’s activities and meetings.

Historically, FEAP always understood the importance of innovation for a sustainable and profitable fish farming sector. With this perspective, in 2007, the federation initiated the creation of the European Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Platform (EATiP). Gustavo became its first president in 2009. He still holds that position today, steering with competence the technology platform as it continues to be well-considered throughout the sector and in the European Commission. EATiP has been showcased by the European Commission as an example of a valuable technology platform. It has expanded its reach through the creation of Mirror Platforms in most European countries and continues to bring young professionals into the sector. “In this altruist work, Gustavo has always expressed that he dedicates his time to EATiP with pleasure as his will is to give back to society what he has received during his thirty-nine years in the profession and passes the ‘baton’ to the younger generations,” FEAP said.