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Energy, Climate change, Environment

Map of the Week – Seawater finfish farms

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The average person living in the European Union (EU) consumes 24.4 kg of fish or seafood per year [1] with great variations between countries. In Europe, aquaculture accounts for about 20% of fish production [2]. Aquaculture produced around 1.37 million tonnes in volume in 2017 [1]. The main aquaculture-producing Member States in terms of volume are Spain, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Greece. The top 10 species in aquaculture are the Mediterranean mussel, the Atlantic salmon, the Rainbow trout, the Blue mussel, the Pacific cupped oyster, the Gilthead seabream, the European seabass, the Common carp, the Japanese carpet shell, and the Atlantic bluefin tuna [1]. Aquaculture takes a variety of forms.

Sustainability of aquaculture is an important issue that is addressed by the European Union, European Member States and stakeholders:

  • Aquaculture is regulated by the Common Fisheries Policy. Several European Union and national policies and initiatives relate to aquaculture on environmental aspects, health and welfare, trade, consumer information and certification.
  • Aquaculture is integrated in the ‘Farm to fork strategy’ which aims at reaching a healthier and more sustainable European food system in the framework of the European Green Deal
  • The European Commission is in the process of shaping a new comprehensive approach to the blue economy. On 27 October 2020, representatives of regions, clusters and NGOs as well as scientists and finance experts exchanged their ideas on a sustainable blue economy in the webinar ‘What Future for the Blue Economy’? [3] 
  • EU Member States have developed Multiannual National Strategic Plans for the promotion of sustainable aquaculture.
  • Advisory councils, stakeholders’ organisations made up of representatives from the industry and other interest groups submit recommendations on issues related to fisheries and aquaculture to the Commission and the Member States [1]. The Aquaculture Advisory Council (AAC) is composed of 3 working groups on finfish, shellfish, and horizontal issues, a General Assembly and an Executive Committee.

Are you involved in aquaculture and/or interested in the blue economy? Did you know that a Working Group on Food from the Ocean has been established by the EU4Ocean Platform? Learn how you can join the Platform online.

To know more, dive into the Map of the Week to see where finfish farms are located across Europe. Finfish is the term used for bony fish and cartilaginous fish in contrast to shellfish or other aquatic animals.

Access the map

The data in this map are provided by EMODnet.