Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Aquaculture: Where Is The Return On the EU's Investment?

From The Fish Site, June 29:

Where’s the return on the EU’s aquaculture investment?
The latest statistical analysis shows that the EU’s attempts to step up and revive aquaculture production have proved to be costly, and have had very limited results. We investigate why this might be the case.

Recently we took an in-depth look at the lack of uptake of tuna farming technology in the Mediterranean region, and what we found inspired us to investigate whether there is a commonality between the depressing status of closed-cycle tuna farming in Europe and the status of fish farming in the European Union (EU) in general.

Recent news articles suggest that aquaculture in the EU is thriving. In order to evaluate this view, we consolidated a number of production figures from a variety of reliable sources, while also having a look at the level of subsidies made available to the sector. We believe that doing so gives a clearer comparison of the costs and benefits generated by aquaculture in the EU.
To us, the outcome was rather shocking.

EU production in terms of volume and value
Consolidating production volumes by country and species from information provided in reports by FEAP and APROMAR – two reliable sources for long-term production figures – we can see that from 2008 to 2017 total finfish production in the European continent increased from almost 1.8 million to just under 2.3 million tonnes. Surprisingly, however, output by the EU member states decreased from 667,733 tonnes to 648,935 tonnes.

Although some European countries have increased their production volumes over the past decade, the major contributors to this growth – namely Norway and Turkey – are not members of the EU. For example, by far the largest contributor to the growth in European aquaculture production has been the salmon sector, which in Norway alone grew from under 900,000 tonnes in 2008 to 1.3 million tonnes in 2016. Turkey, which is also included in the European statistics provided by FEAP, increased its production of sea bream and seabass from 149,000 tonnes to 247,000 tonnes in a similar timeframe....