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Oceans and fisheries

Seafood markets

The common organisation of the EU’s fisheries market strengthens the role of the actors on the ground: consumers receive information on the products sold on the EU market, and producers apply the same rules, regardless of the origin of the product.

Common market organisation

The common market organisation covers five main areas.

Organisation of the sector

Producer organisations, established under common rules, are the key players in the sector. Through their production and marketing plans, they deliver the EU common fisheries policy.

Marketing standards

Common marketing standards lay down uniform characteristics for fishery products sold in the EU, whatever their origin. They are applied in accordance with conservation measures and help to ensure a transparent internal market that supplies high-quality products.

Consumer information

Consumer information rules establish what information must be provided to the consumer or mass caterer who buys fishery and aquaculture products. They allow consumers to make informed purchasing choices.

Competition rules 

The common organisation of the markets is subject to competition rules. Given the specific characteristics of the sector, exceptions to the application of these rules exist to ensure the functioning of the policy and the achievement of EU objectives.

Market intelligence 

The Commission has set up the European Market Observatory for Fishery and Aquaculture Products to contribute to market transparency and provide market intelligence to all actors across the sector.

Professional organisations

Producer organisations

Today, more than 210 producer organisations exist in the European Union. They are bodies set up by fishery or aquaculture producers and officially recognised by EU countries under common EU-wide rules. They are in charge of the day-to-day management of fisheries and

  • guide producers towards sustainable fishing and aquaculture, in particular by collectively managing the activities of their members
  • take measures to channel the supply and marketing of their members’ products
  • promote their members’ products through certification schemes
  • work towards reducing the environmental impact of the fishing or aquaculture activities of their members. 

They can also be represented in associations of producer organisations.

List of recognised producer organisations and associations of producer organisations (19-04-2021)
English
(597.45 KB - PDF)
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Member States must notify any recognition of professional organisation or withdrawal of recognition to MARE-A4@ec.europa.eu

Inter-branch organisations

Inter-branch organisations are organisations of different operators in the fishery and aquaculture sector. Like producer organisations they are subject to common EU-wide rules. They bring together fish producers, processors and marketers to improve the coordination of marketing activities and to develop measures of interest for the whole sector.

Given the shared nature of the marine resources, these professional organisations may also be set up at transnational level to coordinate the production and the marketing of certain fish species across several EU countries.
 

Tools and financial support for professional organisations

Creation or restructuring of professional organisations

The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) can provide financial support to creating or restructuring producer organisations, associations of producer organisations and inter-branch organisations.

Production and marketing plans

To contribute to the sustainability of fishing and aquaculture activities, producer organisations and associations of producer organisations draw up production and marketing plans. These plans, which shall be financed by EMFF, facilitate the collective management of producers' activities.

Consumer information

The common organisation of the markets defines the specific information that must accompany fishery and aquaculture products sold to consumers and mass caterers. These requirements contribute to more transparency on the market as they enable consumers to make informed choices on the products they buy.

EU rules on the provision of food information to consumers

Commercial and scientific name of the species

Any product sold to the consumer must bear the commercial designation of the species (i.e. the name under which the fish is marketed) and its scientific name. To ensure consistency, each EU country draws up and publishes a list of the commercial designations accepted in its territory, including accepted local or regional names.

The Commission has set up a tool gathering all the commercial designations recognised in the EU and other useful information, such as scientific names, production methods and catch areas. This tool complements the information provided in the EU countries: only the national lists provided below are the authoritative source.

List of commercial and scientific name of species

Tool: Commercial designations of fishery and aquaculture products

European market observatory for fisheries and aquaculture products (EUMOFA)

EUMOFA is an online tool to enhance market intelligence and to contribute to transparency and efficiency of the market for fishery and aquaculture products. It is aimed at producers, processors, importers, retailers, consumers, markets' analysts and policy makers.

EUMOFA enables direct monitoring of the volume, value and price of fishery and aquaculture products, from the first sale to retail stage, including imports and exports. Data are collected from EU countries, Norway, Iceland and from EU institutions and updated every day.

 European market observatory for fisheries and aquaculture product (EUMOFA)

Publications

EU consumer habits regarding fishery and aquaculture products

A pocket guide to the EU's new fish and aquaculture consumer labels
English
(1.86 MB - PDF)
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EU: Sustainable Tools for the World's Largest Seafood Market
English
(426.29 KB - PDF)
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Media