Technical Report

Regional Review on Status and Trends in Aquaculture Development in Europe - 2015



Clarke R & Bostock J (2017) Regional Review on Status and Trends in Aquaculture Development in Europe - 2015. Food & Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Circular, 1135/1. Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.

This update considers the wider European region comprising the 43 countries that were the object of the more detailed 2010 review of aquaculture in Europe (Váradi et al., 2011) and in particular notes significant changes related to aquaculture in that region since 2010. Aquaculture production data have been obtained from FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, Fishery Information, Data and Statistics Unit. The most notable development in the period has been the continuing increase in the production of Atlantic salmon (by 43 percent for the period 2009–2014), mainly in the Kingdom of Norway but with significant increases also in the Faroe Islands, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Russian Federation. Production technologies have undergone significant changes in this period with increasing use of very large scale Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) for the production of large smolts and in some cases for ongrowing fish to up to 1 kg in fresh water before transfer to sea cages. Despite the continuing increase in production, technical challenges remain, in particular the problem of sea lice infestation; the last five years have seen substantial commercial investment in the production and use of “cleaner fish” as biological controllers of lice numbers and in technology for other non-chemical treatment methods. The next five years are likely to see pilot trials of radical new production systems which are designed to minimise environmental impacts. The production of European seabass and gilthead seabream in cages in the Mediterranean Sea has increased, but the ongoing consequences of the global financial crisis of 2007–2009; and the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis from the end of 2009 have to some extent limited growth in these sectors, particularly in the Hellenic Republic. However the Republic of Turkey, with its relatively fast-growing economy and non-EU status has been less constrained by the economic factors and has seen substantial increases in the production of both species. Throughout Europe there has been continued interest, innovation and investment in small-scale RAS for a variety of species for which strong local markets are perceived to exist (examples include sturgeon, shrimp, barramundi, zander, European sea bass, perch and tilapia). Detailed information is difficult to obtain but the scale of this activity may best be described as “pilot”. There has been a high failure rate in such projects, making short-term significant production growth from this sector unlikely. The prescribed length and remit for this update do not allow for a complete summary of the status of all aquaculture sectors throughout Europe; the terms of reference require a focus on areas of significant change in the last 5 years. So, whilst sectors such as the extensive and semi-extensive production of carp represents the finfish species with the third highest production in the region (238 thousand tonnes in 2014, mainly in the Russian Federation), on the basis of information available to the authors there do not appear to have been significant developments in that sector in the last five years. Consequently, the culture of these species does not feature prominently in this review.

aquaculture; Europe; trends; salmon; fish farming; FAO

Title of seriesFAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Circular
Number in series1135/1
Publication date31/12/2017
Publication date online02/2017
PublisherFood and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations
Publisher URL…1f-5291d64ca152/
ISSN of series2070-6065