Research Report

European aquaculture competitiveness: Limitations and possible strategies


Bostock J, Murray F, Muir J, Telfer T, Lane A, Anagnopoulos N, Papageorgiou P & Alday-Sanz V (2009) European aquaculture competitiveness: Limitations and possible strategies. European Parliament. European Parliament.

This study examines the competitiveness of the EU aquaculture sector, as a contribution to the wider review of EU aquaculture policy being carried out by the European Community institutions. EU aquaculture competes with its international equivalents, with outputs from capture fisheries, and more fundamentally within global food markets. With small exceptions, the sector invests in production within the EU, and as little of its product is exported, competition is so far primarily defined within EU markets. Whilst EU aquatic food consumption has risen over the past 10 years, with stable or declining capture fisheries supply, most of this increase has come from imports rather than growth of EU aquaculture. To substantially increase aquaculture production at competitive prices for mainstream EU markets will require larger entities capable of scale economies, although small and micro-enterprises can also provide niche products and help sustain rural and coastal livelihoods. As spatial expansion is highly constrained by environmental regulation and conflicts with other resource users, productivity gains will be important in increasing output. Technological solutions are emerging, but are costly, so under current conditions, investments are more likely to be made in lower-cost production systems in third countries that export to the EU.

Aquaculture; Europe; Policy; Competitiveness; Fishfarming; Food

Publication date30/09/2009
Publication date online09/2009
PublisherEuropean Parliament
Publisher URL…09)431569_EN.pdf