ShapeShapeauthorShapecrossShapeShapeShapeGrouphamburgerhomeGroupmagnifyShapeShapeShaperssShape

World Aquaculture Booming but EU In Decline

by Ellen Hardy
30 November 2007, at 12:00am

EU - The growth of world aquaculture is booming but the European Union (EU) is losing market share and socio-economic benefits, according to a leading Scottish industry figure.

*
“Europe needs to be meeting more of its own demand through domestic production,”

Dr Neil Auchterlonie, European and Technical Manager for the Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation (SSPO)

Speaking at the recent ‘European aquaculture and its opportunities for development’ conference in Brussels on 16th November Dr Neil Auchterlonie, European and Technical Manager for the Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation (SSPO) said: “The strategic importance of the industry to Europe is well recognised, but Community operations are being constrained.”

In the world league table of food production, aquaculture is the fastest growing sector. Five years ago, the EU set an annual growth target of 3–4% but neither Scotland nor Europe as a whole has achieved it.

European aquaculture grew at between 3-4% between 1995 and 1999, and then not at all between 2000 and 2004. In direct contrast, global aquaculture has developed at a rate of 9% increase per annum over the period 1995 to 2004. A large volume of product produced outside of Europe is then imported into Member States to meet the ever-growing demand for seafood.

“Europe needs to be meeting more of its own demand through domestic production,” said Dr Auchterlonie, “and Scotland is ideally placed to be one of the major producers of quality seafood,” he added.

“If we can overcome the current disparity, the economic benefits of aquaculture could have a much brighter future in Scotland and Europe. Improved implementation of the legislation affecting aquaculture at member state level, adhering to the principles of better regulation, could have a significant positive effect,” he added.

In 2006 the UN FAO reported that in 1980 only 9% of the fish consumed by people came from aquaculture, now it is 43%. The UN FAO also noted that aquaculture is the only way to meet the surging demand for seafood.

Ellen Hardy