Fiske

Fisheries facts and figures

Fisheries facts and figures

Fisheries facts and figures

1. Responsible and sustainable fishing

2. Fishing fleet

Download fleet capacity and fishing fleet statistics

Download fleet economic performance statistics

 

Fleet capacity management is an essential tool for the sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources, which is one of the main objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy. The EU fishing fleet is very diverse, with vessels ranging from under six metres to over 75. Under EU law the total capacity of the fishing fleet may not be increased and any decommissioning of vessels or reduction of fleet capacity obtained through public support must be permanent.

EU fishing fleet capacity by length category (2015)
  Length

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Number of vessels

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Gross tonnage

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Engine power in kW
Average age

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< 12 72 301 182 989 2 603 689 25

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12-24 9 998 399 193 1 830 772 24

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> 24 2 855 1 041 399 2 035 719 19
TOTAL 85 154 1 623 581 6 470 180 22,6
 

NB: Length refers to total length.
Source: EU Fishing Fleet Register

For the last 20 years, the EU fishing fleet capacity has declined in terms of both tonnage and engine power. Despite enlargements to the EU, the number of EU vessels in 2015 was 85 154 – 18 693 fewer than in 1996.

Healthier stocks contribute to a more sustainable industry. Overall, the EU fleet was profitable in 2013, consolidating the gradual recovery of recent years, when both gross profit and net profit margin of the fleet have shown an upward trend.

The fishing fleet of the Member States (2015)

  Number of vessels % Gross tonnage % Engine power in kW %
BE 78

0,1%

14 535 0,9% 46 289 0,7%
BG 1 989 2,3% 6 541 0,4% 58 043 0,9%
DK 2 396 2,8% 69 607 4,3% 224 769 3,5%
DE 1 465 1,7% 64 221 4,0% 141 679 2,2%
EE 1 534 1,8% 13 225 0,8% 43 714 0,7%
IE 2 156 2,5% 62 331 3,8% 189 442 2,9%
EL 15 638 18,4% 76 573 4,7% 449 534 6,9%
ES 9 572 11,2% 354 186 21,8% 815 872 12,6%
FR 6 964 8,2% 171 544 10,6% 1 001 603 15,5%
HR 7 540 8,9% 52 341 3,2% 414 618 6,4%
IT 12 414 14,6% 162 749 10,0% 1 003 301 15,5%
CY 893 1,0% 3 502 0,2% 40 209 0,6%
LV 688 0,8% 24 671 1,5% 43 114 0,7%
LT 144 0,2% 41 403 2,6% 46 484 0,7%
MT 1 005 1,2% 7 106 0,4% 73 106 1,1%
NL 832 1,0% 133 995 8,3% 312 548 4,8%
PL 874 1,0% 26 293 1,6% 76 256 1,2%
PT 8 136 9,6% 96 596 5,9% 359 633 5,6%
RO 152 0,2% 870 0,1% 6 146 0,1%
SI 169 0,2% 597 0,0% 8 540 0,1%
FI 2 839 3,3% 15 613 1,0% 160 475 2,5%
SE 1 357 1,6% 30 398 1,9% 167 214 2,6%
UK 6 319 7,4% 194 683 12,0% 787 592 12,2%
EU-28 85 154 100,00% 1 623 581 100,00% 6 470 180 100,00%
 

Source: EU Fishing Fleet Register. Situation as in September 2015.

 

Source: EU Fishing Fleet Register.

3. Employment

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In several EU regions the fishing sector plays a crucial role for employment and economic activity – in some European coastal communities as many as half the local jobs are in the fishing sector (as shown in the map on the right-hand side).

Employment in the fishing sector tends to be concentrated in a handful of countries. Spain alone accounts for a quarter of total employment, and the four countries with the highest levels of employment (Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal) make up around 70%.

Employment in the fisheries, aquaculture and processing sectors

The aquaculture sector is also significant in socio-economic terms, with roughly 80 000 staff (including part-time and full-time jobs in both marine and freshwater aquaculture).

The processing industry counts approximately 3 500 enterprises centered on fish processing (5% less than in previous years). The mainstay of EU production is conserves and ready meals of fish, crustaceans and molluscs. Employment too has decreased by 5% to around 123 000 people across the EU between 2008 and 2012. Of these, 55% are women, and 86% are employed in firms with less than 50 staff.

Employment in the fisheries, aquaculture and processing sectors

Fisheries (2013) (1)
ES 33 129
IT 26 758
EL 24 486
PT 17 875
UK 12 022
FR 10 26
HR 4 872
IE 3 169
PL 2 430
NL 2 123
EE 2 046
FI 1 817
DE 1 647
SE 1 577
DK 1 489
CY (2) 1 290
BG 895
LT 763
LV 680
MT 389
BE 355
RO 304
SI 107
Aquaculture (2012) (3)
ES 19 892
FR 18 640
PL 5 583
IT 5 164
EL 4 900
UK 3 231
RO 2 968
PT 2 572
HR 1 892
IE 1 708
NL (4) 467
BG 454
DK 432
FI 402
SE 370
CY 259
MT 167
EE 22
Processing (2012) (5)
UK 19 070
ES 18 324
FR 16 184
PL 15 972
DE 7 010
PT 6 823
IT 6 197
LV 5 781
LT 4 451
NL 3 567
DK 3 409
IE 3 342
BE 2 492
EL 2 330
SE 2 135
EE 1 861
HR 1 365
FI 930
RO 780
SI 354
BG 252
CY 56
MT 56

4. Fisheries and aquaculture production

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The EU is the fifth largest producer worldwide, accounting for about 3.2% of global fisheries and aquaculture production. 80% of production comes from fisheries and 20% from aquaculture.

Spain, the United Kingdom, France and Denmark are the largest producers in terms of volume in the EU.

Main world producers (2013)
(catches and aquaculture)

(volume in 1000 tonnes live weight and percentage of total)

Country

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facts4_catches
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catches
Fishery

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aquaculture
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aquaculture
Aquaculture
Total production % total
China 16.558 57.113 73.671 38,63%
Indonesia 6.120 13.147 19.267 10,10%
India 4.645 4.554 9.199 4,82%
EU-28 4.842 1.211 6.053 3,17%
Viet Nam 2.804 3.294 6.098 3,20%
Peru 5.876 126 6.002 3,15%
United States of America 5.242 441 5.683 2,98%
Japan 3.742 1.027 4.769 2,50%
Myanmar 3.787 931 4.718 2,47%
Philippines 2.335 2.373 4.709 2,47%
Russian Federation 4.351 156 4.507 2,36%
Norway 2.229 1.248 3.476 1,82%
Bangladesh 1.550 1.860 3.410 1,79%
Chile 2.289 1.046 3.335 1,75%
Others (*) 27.193 8.606 35.799 18,77%
Total 93.563 97.134 190.697 100,00%
 

(*) FAO estimate.
Source: Eurostat for fishery EU-28 and FAO for other countries and EU aquaculture and catched of AT, CZ, HU, SK.

5. External trade

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The EU is the leading trader of fisheries and aquaculture products in the world in terms of value. EU trade (imports and exports) has increased over the past few years, reaching EUR 45.9 billion in 2014. Norway, China, Ecuador and Morocco are the EU’s main suppliers, while the United States, Norway, Switzerland and China are the EU’s main customers.

The EU is a net importer of fisheries and aquaculture products, mostly frozen and prepared. Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Denmark are the leading importing Member States.

If EU aquaculture products stay within the European market, EU exports will be almost entirely composed of products from captured fisheries. Between 2012 and 2014 EU exports to third countries increased to EUR 4.3 billion. Spain, the United Kingdom, Denmark and the Netherlands are the leading exporting Member States to third countries.

Trade between EU countries is very significant and plays an essential role in the EU’s fisheries trade. Its value is comparable to that of imports coming from outside the EU, i.e. EUR 20.6 billion in 2014. The main exporters to other EU Member States are Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and Spain. The main importers are France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Trade of fishery and aquaculture products between the European Union and third countries (2014)
(volume in 1000 tonnes and value in millions of EUR)

Extra-EU trade Value - million euro Volume - 1.000 tonnes
Export Import Export Import
Crustaceans 311,2 4.474,7 66,8 621,2
Molluscs 225,5 1.998,0 46,3 614,2
Non-food use products 518,3 914,0 390,2 936,1
Other fish 1.191,7 5.917,6 405,8 1.881,3
Pelagic fish 1.372,1 3.226,3 1.118,4 1.057,6
Salmonids 702,6 4.429,9 117,7 837,3

 

Extra- and intra-EU trade (2014)
(value in millions of EUR)

Extra-EU Export
4.321,4

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extra eu export
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extra eu export
Extra-EU Import
20.960,5

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extra eu import
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extra eu import
Intra-EU trade
20.633,1

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intra eu trade
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intra eu trade
 

Source: Eurostat and Eumofa.

Trade of fisheries and aquaculture products between the European Union and third countries – Main suppliers (2014)
(value in thousands of EUR and percentage of total)

Main Suppliers Value %
Norway 4.836.790 23%
China 1.463.159 7%
Ecuador 1.067.347 5%
Morocco 941.417 4%
Iceland 935.539 4%
Viet Nam 929.766 4%
United States 892.392 4%
India 875.452 4%
Thailand 652.419 3%
Argentina 570.419 3%
Peru 551.168 3%
Other third countries 7.244.617 35%
Total 20.960.485 100%
 

Source: Eurostat and Eumofa.

Trade of fisheries and aquaculture products between the European Union and third countries – Main customers (2014)
(value in thousands of EUR and percentage of total)

Main Customers Value %
United States 516.216 12%
Norway 477.119 11%
Switzerland 352.433 8%
China 316.844 7%
Nigeria 277.397 6%
Japan 218.420 5%
Russian Federation 173.548 4%
Viet Nam 165.132 4%
Egypt 130.397 3%
Morocco 99.961 2%
Brazil 81.549 2%
Other third countries 1.512.368 35%
Total 4.321.384 100%
 

Source: Eurostat and Eumofa.

Trade of fishery and aquaculture products between the European Union and third countries (2014)
(value in thousands of EUR)

Main Member States importing from third countries
Spain 3.395.282 16%
Sweden 3.174.285 15%
United Kingdom 2.388.140 11%
Denmark 2.072.802 10%
Germany 1.963.153 9%
France 1.902.438 9%
Netherlands 1.892.037 9%
Italy 1.883.901 9%
Other Member States 2.288.447 11%
Total EU-28 20.960.485 100%
Main Member States exporting to third countries
Spain 765.957 18%
United Kingdom 706.941 16%
Denmark 630.015 15%
Netherlands 591.627 14%
Germany 299.755 7%
France 288.839 7%
Ireland 180.225 4%
Portugal 179.715 4%
Other Member States 678.309 16%
Total EU-28 4.321.384 100%
 

Source: Eurostat and Eumofa.

Imports and exports of fishery and aquaculture products - Extra-EU trade (2014)
(volume in tonnes and value in thousands of EUR)

Member State Export Import
Value 1000 EUR Volume - tonnes Value 1000 EUR Volume - tonnes
Austria 12.308 1.877 48.859 9.521
Belgium 22.554 4.633 741.933 123.495
Bulgaria 11.460 3.270 13.853 9.186
Croatia 46.217 14.104 22.279 8.564
Cyprus 19.264 3.021 29.044 7.828
Czech Republic 8.686 2.718 42.655 15.394
Denmark 630.015 275.564 2.072.802 881.085
Estonia 59.223 76.451 22.471 9.707
Finland 10.529 14.268 176.880 64.319
France 288.839 75.955 1.902.438 438.136
Germany 299.755 143.050 1.963.153 674.650
Greece 49.071 8.444 181.400 71.161
Hungary 2.838 1.002 5.757 3.022
Ireland 180.225 158.976 28.566 48.647
Italy 127.018 29.410 1.883.901 442.689
Latvia 59.187 66.378 29.981 16.178
Lithuania 32.955 22.749 109.351 53.105
Luxembourg 3.498 323 1.212 14
Malta 49.977 4.166 12.519 9.138
Netherlands 591.627 514.189 1.892.037 509.313
Poland 93.495 26.817 369.908 174.389
Portugal 179.715 39.376 400.539 129.318
Romania 3.196 795 33.241 16.617
Slovakia 893 341 9.991 5.968
Slovenia 8.578 2.012 8.008 3.815
Spain 765.957 445.728 3.395.282 1.040.637
Sweden 57.362 17.205 3.174.285 661.651
United Kingdom 706.941 192.346 2.388.140 520.164
Total EU-28 4.321.384 2.145.169 20.960.485 5.947.708
 

Source: Eurostat and Eumofa.

Imports of fisheries and aquaculture products – Extra-EU trade (2014)
(value in thousands of EUR)

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Pelagic fish
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Pelagic fish
Pelagic fish
Spain 737.990
Italy 560.316
France 484.830
United Kingdom 409.141
Germany 270.493
Netherlands 265.523
Poland 87.623
Belgium 76.447
Other Member States 333.935
Total EU-28 3.226.300

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Salmonids
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Salmonids
Salmonids
Sweden 2.586.277
Denmark 752.518
Germany 337.452
United Kingdom 322.836
Finland 116.731
France 92.535
Netherlands 49.081
Poland 36.874
Other Member States 135.624
Total EU-28 4.429.927

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Other fish
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Other fish
Other fish
Netherlands 996.136
United Kingdom 833.523
Spain 791.218
Germany 786.056
Denmark 557.392
France 443.585
Sweden 392.852
Italy 310.325
Other Member States 806.486
Total EU-28 5.917.574

 

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Crustaceans
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Crustaceans
Crustaceans
Spain 907.247
United Kingdom 682.220
France 648.371
Netherlands 460.263
Belgium 411.175
Italy 405.967
Denmark 399.566
Germany 285.575
Other Member States 274.327
Total EU-28 4.474.711

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Molluscs
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Molluscs
Molluscs
Spain 855.305
Italy 558.300
France 175.299
Portugal 87.537
Netherlands 78.437
Greece 64.175
United Kingdom 56.091
Belgium 44.166
Other Member States 78.648
Total EU-28 1.997.959
Non-food use products
Denmark 279.176
Germany 249.784
United Kingdom 84.328
Spain 74.618
France 57.817
Netherlands 42.598
Greece 34.174
Italy 28.407
Other Member States 63.111
Total EU-28 914.014
 

Source: Eurostat and Eumofa.

Exports of fishery and aquaculture products - Extra-EU trade (2014)
(value in thousands of EUR)

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Pelagic fish
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Pelagic fish
Pelagic fish
Spain 426.727
Netherlands 333.525
Ireland 121.540
United Kingdom 97.914
France 66.458
Italy 60.435
Latvia 52.195
Malta 47.330
Other Member States 165.974
Total EU-28 1.372.097

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Salmonids
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Salmonids
Salmonids
United Kingdom 464.979
Denmark 46.280
Poland 39.108
Germany 35.598
Netherlands 30.848
France 21.711
Sweden 20.741
Lithuania 7.351
Other Member States 36.026
Total EU-28 702.642

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Other fish
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Other fish
Other fish
Spain 238.076
Denmark 181.166
France 137.462
Netherlands 123.718
Portugal 109.269
Germany 93.475
Italy 44.408
United Kingdom 42.900
Other Member States 221.181
Total EU-28 1.191.656

 

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Crustaceans
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Crustaceans
Crustaceans
Denmark 105.061
Netherlands 87.235
United Kingdom 32.976
France 17.025
Germany 15.330
Spain 13.837
Estonia 10.069
Belgium 8.357
Other Member States 21.310
Total EU-28 311.198

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Molluscs
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Molluscs
Molluscs
Spain 73.631
United Kingdom 33.157
France 32.299
Ireland 24.585
Portugal 22.638
Italy 10.424
Bulgaria 8.065
Netherlands 5.520
Other Member States 15.157
Total EU-28 225.477
Non-food use products
Denmark 289.952
Germany 128.187
United Kingdom 35.015
France 13.884
Netherlands 10.782
Spain 10.052
Ireland 9.942
Portugal 4.086
Other Member States 16.414
Total EU-28 518.314
 

Source: Eurostat and Eumofa.

6. Consumption

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Fisheries and aquaculture products are an important source of protein and a crucial component of a healthy diet. This is particularly true for the average European, who consumes 24.9 kg of fish or seafood per year (6 kg more than in the rest of the world).

Consumption, however, varies greatly across the EU, from 5.3 kg per person in Hungary to 56.8 kg in Portugal.

Three quarters of the fish or seafood consumed in the EU comes from wild fisheries, while the remaining quarter comes from aquaculture. The most popular species are tuna, salmon and cod.

Consumption of fishery and aquaculture products (2011)
(quantity in live weight (kg/inhabitant/year))

Austria 13,28
Bulgaria 6,55
Denmark 22,96
Estonia 14,68
Finland 35,63
France 34,59
Germany 14,17
Greece 19,61
Hungary 5,30
Croatia 19,66
Ireland 22,33
Italy 25,38
Latvia 27,50
Lithuania 43,36
Malta 30,52
Netherlands 23,58
Czech Republic 9,52
Poland 12,01
Portugal 56,80
Romania 6,10
Slovenia 11,15
Slovakia 8,09
Spain 42,37
Sweden 31,01
United Kingdom 18,96
Belgium 25,07
Luxembourg 29,07
Cyprus 23,28
EU - 28 24,87
 

Source: FAO, Eurostat and Eumofa.

Consumption of fishery and aquaculture products in the major world economy (2011)
(quantity in live weight (kg/inhabitant/year))

Iceland 90,06
Japan 53,68
Norway 53,4
China {mainland} 32,86
EU-28 24,86
Canada 22,27
Russian Federation 22,27
United States of America 21,65
Brazil 10,57
India 5,17
WORLD AVERAGE 18,93
 

Source: FAO, Eurostat and Eumofa.

The main species consumed in the European Union (2012)
(quantity in live weight (kg/inhabitant/year))

Main commercial species Per capita (Kg) % wild % farmed
Tuna (canned) 2,02 100% 0%
Salmon 1,97 7% 93%
Cod 1,96 98% 2%
Pollack 1,6 100% 0%
Herring 1,52 100% 0%
Mussel 1,27 12% 88%
Hake 0,86 100% 0%
Pangasius 0,82 0% 100%
Mackerel 0,78 100% 0%
Squid 0,76 100% 0%
Tropical shrimp 0,68 42% 58%
Sardine 0,54 100% 0%
Scallop 0,48 81% 19%
Other 9,41 77% 23%
Total 23,87 76% 24%

7. European Union support

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Five European Structural and Investment Funds[1] support the economic recovery of the EU until 2020. One of them, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), is specifically tailored to Europe's seas and coasts. Its EUR 6.4 billion budget (5.7 billion of which are allocated to and managed by the Member States under shared management) is focused not only on underpinning the new Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and making fisheries and aquaculture more sustainable and profitable but also on diversifying local economies for the sustainable development of maritime regions and inland fisheries and aquaculture areas.

The EMFF supports initiatives ailing at rebuilding fish stocks, phasing-out of discards, collecting fisheries data and reducing man-made impacts on the marine environment. Control and enforcement actions are equally covered, to ensure proper compliance with the rules. The Fund also favours international cooperation and integration in maritime domains such as spatial planning and surveillance.

 

[1] The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF), the Cohesion Fund (CF), the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).

The EMFF has the following six main priorities

  • Sustainable fisheries (26.9%): to strike a balance between human fishing capacity and available natural resources, to fish more selectively and to reduce unintended catches.
  • Sustainable aquaculture (21%): to make the sector more successful and competitive by focusing on quality, health and safety, as well as eco-friendly production; and to provide consumers with high-quality, highly nutritional and trustworthy products.
  • Implementing the CFP (19.1 %): to improve data collection, scientific knowledge, control and enforcement of fisheries legislation.
  • Employment and territorial cohesion (9%): to help coastal and inland fisheries and aquaculture communities gain more value for their products and diversify their economies into other maritime fields such as tourism or direct sales.
  • Marketing and processing (17.6%): to improve market organisation, market intelligence and consumer information in the world's largest seafood market.
  • Implementing the Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP) (1.2%): to improve marine knowledge, better plan activities at sea, promote cooperation in maritime surveillance and manage sea basins according to their individual needs.

The remaining 5.1% concerns technical assistance to help Member States to implement the above priorities.

Above and beyond these priorities, the EMFF does not prescribe how every cent should be spent, but rather allocates a share of the total budget to each country, and leaves it to each national authority – and each local community – to choose the projects and solutions that work best for their own economy.

EMFF contribution – 2014-2020 programming period – Per priority
(in thousands of EUR and percentage of total)

  Sustainable fisheries Sustainable aquaculture Implementation
of the CFP
Employment and territorial cohesion Marketing and processing Implementation
of the IMP
Technical assistance Total per MS % per MS
BE 14 375 6 725 14 245 0 4 101 1 000 1 300 41 746 0.73%
BG 18 921 27 161 10 477 15 180 9 703 2 500 4 125 88 067 1.53%
CZ 0 20 772 2 653 0 5 976 0 1 707 31 108 0.54%
DK 74 150 25 750 70 546 7 518 19 868 2 500 8 022 208 355 3.62%
DE 41 195 64 232 59 695 20 910 23 081 2 500 7 983 219 596 3.82%
EE 19 325 13 402 11 655 23 600 24 664 2 500 5 824 100 970 1.76%
IE 33 500 14 900 69 791 6 000 17 282 5 335 795 147 602 2.57%
EL 128 025 67 319 70 433 46 000 59 777 4 446 12 778 388 778 6.76%
ES 352 491 205 906 155 955 107 674 274 410 5 335 59 851 1161 621 20.20%
FR 150 941 88 790 122 279 22 581 163 236 5 335 34 818 587 980 10.23%
HR 86 827 55 261 34 824 18 954 40 618 1 000 15 159 252 643 4.39%
IT 173 056 110 567 102 429 42 430 72 088 4 446 32 247 537 263 9.34%
CY 12 928 9 450 8 692 5 250 1 246 1 400 750 39 715 0.69%
LV 30 450 34 700 11 148 12 750 40 786 2 500 7 500 139 834 2.43%
LT 10 404 21 219 7 440 10 396 9 302 1 000 3 672 63 432 1.10%
HU 2 541 25 768 2 451 0 7 984 0 352 39 096 0.68%
MT 8 548 2 480 8 692 0 407 1 200 1 300 22 627 0.39%
NL 36 240 4 920 49 460 0 3 424 2 500 4 980 101 523 1.77%
AT 45 3 604 1 400 0 1 690 0 227 6 965 0.12%
PL 130 176 201 740 23 627 79 700 61 603 2 500 31 873 531 219 9.24%
PT 103 625 59 000 55 447 35 000 111 229 5 335 22 850 392 485 6.83%
RO 13 204 84 258 12 943 33 684 11 766 2 500 10 067 168 421 2.93%
SI 3 000 6 000 4 266 5 000 3 558 1 000 1 985 24 809 0.43%
SK 0 9 407 1 400 0 4 041 0 937 15 785 0.27%
FI 12 300 15 600 30 018 4 400 5 530 4 446 2 100 74 393 1.29%
SE 22 042 11 871 60 401 8 343 7 189 4 446 5 864 120 156 2.09%
UK 67 487 19 327 97 634 13 584 27 244 5 335 12 528 243 139 4.23%
Total per priority 1 545 795 1 210 131 1 100 000 518 954 1 011 801 71 056 291 595 5 749 332 100.00%
 

NB: Not relevant for LU.
Source: Member States' operational programmes.

To find out more

To find out more

European Commission websites

Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries:

Common Fisheries Policy

European Atlas of the Seas


Eumofa

Eumofa is an on-line multilingual database which provides access to real-time comprehensive data on price, value and volume of fisheries and aquaculture production across the EU as well as market information and analysis.

European Market Observatory for Fisheries and Aquaculture products


Eurostat

Statistics on fisheries