To mark World Food Day, the latest European Union (EU) fisheries data have been released.
The total EU fish catch in 2019 was about 4.1 million tonnes live weight from the seven marine areas covered by EU statistics. Spain’s fishing fleet accounted for about one fifth of all EU catches (0.8 million tonnes), with a little more than one quarter of the EU total also coming from the combined catches of Denmark (0.6 million tonnes) and France (0.5 million tonnes).
About 70% of the total EU catch was taken in the Atlantic, Northeast area. The key species caught in the Atlantic, Northeast area were small fish such as herring (21% of the live weight caught in this region), sprat (15%), blue whiting (10%) and mackerel (8%). About one fifth of the EU’s total live weight catch in this area was made by the fishing fleet of Denmark (22%), with a further one quarter coming from the combined catches of France (14%) and the Netherlands (11%).
About 11% of the total EU catch was taken in the Mediterranean and Black Sea, the key species caught being sardines (24%) and anchovies (17%). Two-fifths of the total EU catch in this region was made by Italy (40%), with Greece (19%), Spain (17%) and Croatia (15%) accounting for the vast majority of the rest.
About 7% of the total EU catch was taken in the Atlantic, Eastern Central area. The main catches in this area were skipjack (20%) and yellowfin tuna (17%), sardines (14%) and mackerel (13%). Among Member States, Spain (37%) and Lithuania (21%) accounted for the majority of catches, with much of the rest being made by the fleets of France and Latvia.
Almost 7% of the total EU catch was taken in the Indian Ocean, Western area. Fishing here was focussed on tuna; 96% of the total live-weight caught by the EU fishing fleet was tuna, particularly skipjack, yellowfin and bigeye. More than two-thirds of the EU total catch was by Spain (70%), and most of the rest by France (27%).
Only 5% of the total EU catch was taken in three remaining marine areas. The main species caught in these areas were the following: hake (72% of the EU’s area catch) in the Atlantic, Southwest area; blue sharks (42% of the EU’s area catch) and skipjack tuna (14%) in the Atlantic, Southeast area; and redfish (38% of the EU’s area catch), cod (20%) and halibut (17%) in the Atlantic, Northwest area.
Notes: The European Union (EU) includes 27 EU Member States. The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020. Further information is published here.
For more information:
- Eurostat dedicated section on fisheries statistics
- Eurostat database on fisheries
- Source dataset: Fish catches in 2019
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