Aquaculture for all

EU-27 Fishery Products Annual Report - EU Policy & Statistics 2007

Economics +1 more

By the USDA, Foreign Agricultural Service - This report gives an overview of the current situation in the EU fishery sector, provides information on the EU's import policy and statistical data on EU fish catches, aquaculture, and imports and exports.

Executive Summary

In CY 2005, total EU imports of fish, crustaceans and mollusks amounted to 4.4 million MT, a 5% increase in terms of volume compared to 2004. As a result of the near depletion of certain EU fishery stocks and the reduced annual catch quotas, the EU is becoming increasingly dependent on imports from third countries for its processing industry. In CY 2005, non-processed fishery products accounted for 84% of total EU imports of fish and fishery products.

In terms of volume, 5.4% of total CY 2005 EU imports of fish, crustaceans and mollusks came from the United States (5.8% in CY 2004). The EU imported 240,615 MT of fish and fishery products from the United States, with a value of EUR 669 million. “Fish fillets and other fish meat” (HS code 0304) accounted for 25% of total EU imports. The U.S. market share in this particular category is 12%.

In March 2006, the EU published Commission Decision 2006/199/EC, laying down specific conditions for imports of fishery products from the United States. Annex I to Decision 2006/199/EC establishes the model health certificate that U.S. exporters have to use for fishery products; Annex II lists the establishments that have been approved for export to the EU. This decision will facilitate trade between the United States and the EU.

Also in March 2006, the EU published Council Regulation 711/2006, which establishes amended duty rates and new quotas for certain products to compensate the United States for tariff increases that the EU implemented as a result of enlargement. The EU agreed to permanently reduce the tariffs on frozen fillets of hake (6.1% instead of 7.5%), frozen fillets of Alaska Pollack (14.2% instead of 15%) and surimi (14.2% instead of 15%).

Section I: Situation and Outlook

Production – General

EU Fish Catches


In 2004, the EU-25 aquaculture sector represented 18.8% of the total fisheries production. The main activities in EU aquaculture are sea fish farming, marine shellfish farming and fish farming in fresh water. In 2004, 45% of the total EU-25 aquaculture production was of fish and 55% of mollusks. 78% of aquaculture species were produced in marine waters: 63% from the Atlantic and 15% from the Mediterranean. Inland waters accounted for 22% of the production.

In 2004, aquaculture in the EU-15 represented 95% of total EU-25 production, with Spain (26%), France (18%), U.K. (15%) and Italy (9%) being the major contributors. Main species produced in the EU-25 are mussels and oysters, salmon, rainbow trout, seabream and common carp. Over 99% of the aquaculture production in the 10 new member states is of fish, mainly carp and trout.

Aquaculture – EU Financial Support

Aquaculture, inland fishing, processing and marketing of fisheries and aquaculture products is one of the five target priority areas of the new European Fisheries Fund for the period 2007-2013. The following measures in aquaculture production will be eligible for EU financial support:

  • Productive investments in aquaculture: diversification towards new species, production of species with good market prospects, support to traditional aquaculture, purchase of equipment to protect farms from natural predators.

  • Aqua-environmental measures: environmentally friendly farming, participation in the EU’s voluntary Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), and organic farming.

  • Public health measures: compensation to mollusk farmers in cases of certain contaminations.

  • Animal health measures: aid for control and eradication of diseases.

Aquaculture – Introduction of Non-Native Species

In April 2006, the European Commission tabled a proposal to regulate the introduction of non-native species in aquaculture through a permit system at national level. A large portion of current EU aquaculture practices is based on non-native or alien species such as rainbow trout, Pacific oyster or carp. As aquaculture is a fast-growing industry where innovation and new outlets are being explored, it is very likely that new species will continue to be introduced in order to satisfy the needs of the market. However, in some cases, the introduction of alien species can have an adverse effect on ecosystems and cause significant loss of biodiversity. Under the proposed new rules, all projects to introduce an alien species would have to be submitted for approval to a national advisory committee, which would determine whether the proposed introduction was “routine” or “non-routine.” In the case of “non-routine” introductions, an environmental risk assessment would have to be carried out. Only low-risk introductions would be granted a permit. For medium or high-risk introductions, operators would need to prove the availability of adequate mitigation procedures or technologies, which could reduce the risk to an adequately low level. The proposal also sets out a number of requirements concerning contingency plans, monitoring procedures and the keeping of national registers. The proposal was notified to the WTO (notification G/TBT/N/EEC/110) on June 2, 2006.

Aquaculture – Health of Farmed Fish and Shellfish

In October 2006, the Council adopted new rules - Directive 2006/88/EC – on the health of farmed fish and shellfish and disease control in the aquaculture sector. The new directive repeals the rules that were previously laid down in three different directives (91/67/EEC, 93/53/EEC and 95/70/EC) and introduces a series of new measures, including more emphasis on disease prevention by applying stricter controls at each point in the production chain. Chapter IV of Directive 2006/88/EC sets the general requirements for the introduction of aquaculture animals into the EU from third countries. An animal health certificate must accompany all consignments of aquaculture animals, and products thereof.

(Metric Tons)
CY 2003 CY 2004
Belgium 1 010 1 200
Denmark 32 187 42 252
Germany 74 280 57 233
Greece 101 209 97 068
Spain 313 288 363 181
France 245 846 243 907
Ireland 62 516 58 359
Italy 191 662 117 786
Netherlands 67 025 78 925
Austria 2 233 2 267
Portugal 7 829 6 700
Finland 13 335 12 821
Sweden 6 334 5 989
United Kingdom 181 837 207 203
Total EU-15 1 300 591 1 294 891
Czech Rep. 19 670 19 384
Estonia 372 252
Cyprus 1 821 2 425
Latvia 637 545
Lithuania 2 356 2 697
Hungary 11 870 12 744
Malta 881 868
Poland 34 526 35 258
Slovenia 1 353 1 599
Slovak Rep. 881 1 180
EU-25 1 374 958 1 317 813
Source: Eurostat

Belgium Rainbow trout and common carp
Czech Republic Common carp and bighead carp
Denmark Rainbow trout and European eel
Germany Rainbow trout and common carp
Estonia Rainbow trout and common carp
Greece Gilthead seabream and Mediterranean mussel
Spain Blue mussel and rainbow trout
France Pacific cupped oyster and blue mussel
Ireland Blue mussel and Atlantic salmon
Italy Mediterranean mussel and rainbow trout
Cyprus Gilthead seabream and European seabass
Latvia Common carp
Lithuania Common carp
Hungary Common carp and silver carp
Malta Gilthead seabream and European seabass
Netherlands Blue mussel and European eel
Austria Rainbow trout and common carp
Poland Common carp and rainbow trout
Portugal Grooved carpet shell and gilthead seabream
Slovenia Rainbow trout and common carp
Slovakia Rainbow trout and common carp
Finland Rainbow trout and European whitefish
Sweden Rainbow trout and blue mussel
U.K. Atlantic salmon and blue mussel
EU-10 Common carp: 62% of total production
Rainbow trout: 23% of total production
EU-15 Blue mussel: 39% of total production
Rainbow trout: 15% of total production
EU-25 Blue mussel: 36% of total production
Rainbow trout: 16% of total production
Source: Eurostat

Further Information

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List of Articles in this series

To view our complete list of 2007 Fishery Products Shrimp Annual reports, please click here

June 2007
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