Get to know: Kefalonia Fisheries S.A.

We asked Ms. Evi Abatzidou to tell her story about Kefalonia Fisheries. Here is what she has to say.

Please briefly introduce your company and what you do at the company

Kefalonia Fisheries S.A., established in 1981, is a global leader in the farming and distributing Mediterranean Aquaculture products of high quality with high environmental responsibility. During the 3.5 decades of operation, KF has always been a pioneer in the development of aquaculture production and marketing strategies that makes the company one of the most competitive and profitable in the sector. Some milestones of the company are: (1) First aquaculture company that produced sea bass and sea bream in Greece, (2) First company with vertical production of sea bass and sea bream, with complete traceability in all production stages, from egg to final product (fish), (3) First aquaculture company certified for organic production of sea bass and sea bream in Greece, (4) Award-winning company with the Superior Taste Award Certification of (international Taste & Quality institute) for sea bass.

At the moment, Kefalonia Fisheries employs more than 200 people, produces and sells over 5 million of fry and over than 5.000 tons of sea bass and sea bream. The annual sales of the company exceed 30 million Euros. More than 80% of the production is exported, mostly in Italy, France, U.A.E., U.S.A and others (more than 15 more countries).

The company owns a number of certifications related to the ensuring the quality, safety and sustainability of the production. Such certifications are: ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 22000, Fish from Greece, Global G.A.P., Friends of the sea for sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture, ASC, Naturland e.V. and the EU organic standard for organic aquaculture.

I work in Kefalonia Fisheries since 1986 and I am responsible for fry production and the R&D department. I oversee all aspects of the hatchery, including the management of personnel, fish and equipment. I track the fish cycles to determine harvest and release time. I am also responsible for our breeding program and fry quality. Since 2015, I supervise all research programs of our company.

Why do you find it important to participate in H2020 projects? What are the benefits for you ?

With particular interest in the continuous improvement of production techniques, the efficient population management in farms, the advancement of the nutritional profile of the final product, the development of sustainable practices and the welfare of fish, Kefalonia Fisheries has participated in several national and European research projects, regarding the development of new sea bass and sea bream products, biotechnology for the growth and the exploitation of micro- and macro- algae, the use of new technologies for the quality control and the sustainable management of aquaculture and the quality control of the final product.

Our participation in Future EUaqua project was focused mainly on large scale feeding trials using innovative, sustainable, conventional and organic feeds. This is just one task of the project among many others, like: sustainable breeding, innovative optimal production systems, monitoring technologies of the environmental impact on fish health and welfare, consumer awareness, etc.

We find that H2020 platform provides us with the perfect innovative tools, helping us to fulfill all our goals.

What are your main challenges and how the project can contribute to overcome these?

Our company’s main interests and research pillars are always sustainability, circular economy, innovation, quality and fish welfare. Horizon 2020 couples innovation and research, giving emphasis on excellent science and industrial leadership, thus creating the perfect platform for promoting our interests. Combining the industrial work and public research in multidisciplinary consortia of RTD Centers, large companies, SMEs and Associations, H2020 programs deliver innovation by tackling a large spectrum of societal challenges.

Participating in Horizon 2020 program, provides us with the cutting edge knowledge and innovative technology, which is essential in keeping us competitive at a global level.

Get to know: Galaxidi Marine Farm

In the following partner interview, we asked Galaxidi Marine Farm to tell their story. Here is what they had to say. 

  1. Please introduce your company

Galaxidi Marine Farm (GMF), established in 1987 near the town of Galaxidi in Central Greece, stands amongst the oldest and most successful aquaculture companies in Greece. It is a vertically integrated company, operating two hatcheries (one of which dedicated to the production of organic seabass and seabream juveniles), six unit farms (one of which dedicated to organic production) and one state of the art packaging & processing station. The main species produced are Gilthead Seabream (Sparus aurata), European Seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax) and Meagre (Argyrosomus regius) while continuous efforts to fully integrate new, promising species such as the Greater Amberjack (Seriola dumerili) are being made through the company’s participation in pioneering National and European funded programmes. Ninety-eight per cent (98%) of the company’s production is exported, to countries including Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Austria and more. In order to live up to the high-quality standards of its customers, the company holds a number of certifications regarding product quality, food safety, organic production etc (listed below).

EN ISO 9001:15 – EN ISO 22000:05 – BIO E.U. – BIO HELLAS E.U. – BIO NATURLAND:20 – GLOBALG.A.P.:19 – IFS FOOD:17 – ASC SSM:19 – MSC CoC:19 (ASC CoC) – FISH FROM GREECE:19

The company participates in a number of National and European funded programmes, and we, the people of the R&D department, are tasked with day-to-day management of those programmes, from financial reporting to coordinating and performing samplings. Our team consists of highly educated and continuously trained ichthyologists and biologists, ensuring the scientific integrity of the procedures. In addition to the State and European funded programmes, the R&D department is responsible for managing an in-house breeding program in collaboration with the Animal Breeding & Genomics Centre of the Institute Wageningen UR Livestock Research.


  1. Importance of participating in Horizon 2020 projects?

The company from its early days displayed an orientation towards innovation, being pioneer in adopting new technologies such as AKVA automatic feeding system, Marel and Thema systems for fish weighing, grading and batching, Aqua manager software etc. Since the DIVERSIFY project (2013-2018), the company is actively pursuing its involvement in Horizon 2020 programmes as it acknowledges that investing in scientific research is pivotal for the development and adaptation of the industry.

Being a member of consortia such as those assembled at H2020 programmes, consisting of scientists renowned in their respective fields, and companies leading at a worldwide level, provides the company with the competitive edge as it is the end user to most of the outputs and innovations produced, be it novel aquafeeds, reproduction management techniques, monitoring systems and many more.


  1. What are your main challenges and how can the project contribute to overcome these?

There are many challenges that the European aquaculture industry is facing and most of them apply to our company as well. Some of them are staying competitive at a global level, adapting as early as possible to the need for sustainably produced aquafeeds at the face of fragile aquatic ecosystems, responding to climate change, diversifying the production with integration of new species and products, staying up to date with the constant technological advances benefitting production, coping with availability of production space and more. FutureEuAqua addresses each of the aforementioned challenges, in dedicated Tasks and Subtasks of certain Work Packages.

Galaxidi Marine Farm (GMF) can benefit from consulting deliverables from all the WPs, but is even more involved and aware about the subjects of the WPs that is actively participating in. These are the development of novel, sustainable organic aquafeeds (WP2), that will suit its needs and perform equally or even better with even less environmental impact, and the development of innovative processing and packaging solutions (WP6), in order to increase the quality and shelf life of the final product.