Study on the competitiveness of the EU fisheries and aquaculture sector


A recent study, commissioned by the PECH Committee, highlights that the EU relies heavily on outside sources for its fisheries and aquaculture products. Since 2014, there has been a decline in the self-sufficiency rate. Trade volumes have been increasing, but the COVID-19 lockdown disrupted this pattern. Production has also been declining due to fishing restrictions and reduced demand caused by the pandemic.

Currently, only 38% of the EU’s demand is met by internal production, with the rest being sourced externally. This trend indicates a loss of competitiveness for the EU’s fisheries and aquaculture sector. Moreover, products from other regions may not meet the EU’s strict production standards, creating an uneven level playing field for EU producers.

The study reveals an 8% decrease in aquaculture production since 2018. Fishmeal prices increased by 67 % and fish oil prices by 181 % between 2009 and 2023, affecting the production costs for several species.

EFFOP is proud to announce that European producers play a significant role in global marine ingredient production, contributing to the economic prosperity of European countries and enhancing self-reliance in the feed-food value chain.

However, there remains an uneven playing field between EU producers and their competitors. Decision-makers are urged to consider the importance of fish processing and aquaculture producers in achieving self-reliance in the feed-food value chain.

Read the full study here or here: Policy options for strengthening the competitiveness