Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. Strategic guidelines for the sustainable development of EU aquaculture

Author (Corporate)
Series Title
Series Details (2013) 229 final (29.4.13)
Publication Date 29/04/2013
Content Type ,

European aquaculture offers good quality products, respecting strict environmental sustainability, animal health and consumer protection standards. The excellent quality of EU seafood should constitute a major competitive advantage for EU aquaculture; however, the EU aquaculture production is stagnating, in contrast with strong growth in other regions of the world.

In 2010, the value of EU aquaculture production was €3.1 billion for 1.26 million tonnes of production. The EU seafood market is currently supplied for 25% from EU fisheries, 65% from imports and 10% from EU aquaculture. EU total apparent consumption of fishery and aquaculture products reached some 13.2 million tonnes.

Available data show a growing gap – estimated at 8 million tonnes – between the level of consumption of seafood in the EU and the volume of captures from fisheries. The Commission and Member States can help ensure that this gap is partly filled by environmentally, socially and economically sustainable EU aquaculture.

Based on current labour productivity, each percentage point of current EU consumption produced internally through aquaculture would help create between 3,000 and 4,000 full-time jobs. This figure confirms that, although aquaculture represents a relatively small part of the EU economy, it has the potential to boost growth and jobs in EU coastal and inland areas. A close cooperation with the processing industry can further improve job creation and competitiveness in both sectors. Aquaculture is one of the pillars of the EU's Blue Growth Strategy and its development can contribute to the Europe 2020 Strategy.

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Related Links
ESO: Background information: Commission calls for cooperation to boost sustainable aquaculture in Europe
EUR-Lex: COM(2013)229: Follow the progress of this communication through the decision-making procedure

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