Overview - Fisheries

Fisheries – Overview


Image illustrating a fishing ship

What information can I find here?

Eurostat statistics on fisheries contain data for the EU, the Member States, the United Kingdom, Iceland and Norway on:

  • catches of fish products made by vessels in fishing regions;
  • aquaculture production (including organic aquaculture), both in marine and fresh-water;
  • landings of fishery products in ports;
  • Fishing fleet.

The current common fisheries policy (CFP) in the EU aims at an environmentally, economically and socially sustainable use of the common resource including aquaculture production. The CFP is a set of rules for managing European fishing fleets and for conserving fish stocks. Designed to manage a common resource, it gives all European fishing fleets equal access to EU waters and fishing grounds and allows fishermen to compete fairly. The current policy stipulates that between 2015 and 2020 catch limits should be set that are sustainable and maintain fish stocks in the long term.

The data underlying fisheries statistics are collected using internationally agreed concepts and definitions developed by the Coordinating Working Party on Fishery Statistics, comprising Eurostat and several other international organisations with responsibilities in fishery statistics.

Yearly data production schedule:

  • catches by fishing region: published yearly around July-August; reference date (year - 1);
  • aquaculture production: published yearly around January-February; reference date (year -2);
  • landings in ports: published yearly in July-August; reference date (year -1);
  • fishing fleet: published twice a year in April and September; reference date (year – 1).

The international dimension of fisheries

...oceans belong to everyone!

The EU, as a large maritime power and as the world’s biggest market for seafood, actively promotes better international governance across the world’s seas and oceans to keep them clean, safe and secure. It is a leading player in the bodies established under UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea) and UNFSA (UN Fish Stocks Agreement), notably the FAO Committe on Fisheries and RFMOs (Regional Fisheries Management Organisations). As a follow-up to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) efforts focus on the launching of an Implementing Agreement under UNCLOS for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

Map on RFMOs

Aquaculture in the EU

Aquaculture covers the farming of aquatic organisms (finfish, molluscs, crustaceans, algae,…). It takes place in both inland and marine areas, also as organic aquaculture.

Aquaculture is a key component of both the Common Fisheries Policy and the Blue Growth agenda. The Commission aims at facilitating its sustainable development.

> Read more


Cover of the publication ‘Agriculture, forestry and fishery statistics – 2020 edition'

Dive into the world of fisheries statistics

Our new edition of the statistical book on 'Agriculture, forestry and fishery statistics' provides the latest in-depth analyses in an easy to understand form, accompanied by several colourful infographics.

Illustration for fishing © Kenshi991 / Shutterstock

Explore our fisheries-related articles

Not a ‘data-type’ person, but want to know more about fishery and aquaculture statistics? No problem. Check out our Statistics Explained articles.

Poster Fishery statistics

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Not sure what statistics we have? Our colourful poster will give your more insights!

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Agricultural statistics

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The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP)

Explore this webpage of the European Commission providing detailed information on the Common Fisheries Policy.