Deliverable 2.1

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Report on the development of prices & volumes in the European fishery & aquaculture market

Executive Summary

In this report the PrimeFish project provides an overview on the European and in particular the EU seafood sector in large, in comparison with global development; i.e. development in the other continents focusing on major commodity groups for fisheries and aquaculture.
Through a descriptive analysis based largely on FAO statistics from 1950 up until recent years, trends in fisheries and aquaculture quantities (supplies) are presented and compared across continents and to some degree with respect to countries. Also, using FAO statistics, major development in consumption (demand) are studied.

The report focusses mainly on volumes within the seafood sector. The information on values (defined by price) is less detailed since this information has a much shorter history in the FAO statistics and also because there is much more uncertainty attached to it. The studies/reports to follow this overview within WP 2 in PrimeFish, will go more into detail both with respect to quantities and value (prices) for selected case species. The study and the FAOStat basis is to some degree supported with some more recent market information from EUMOFA.

Fisheries at a global level has been flattening out since the late 80-ies and the global growth in seafood supplies stems from the same period from aquaculture. Fisheries within EU has been reduced while slightly increased for other continents like in particular Asia. Aquaculture has been growing in Europe as such, but for EU there has been a flattening and declining trend from the late 90’s. And, Europe lags markedly behind the growth in aquaculture in Asia both with respect to quantity and with respect to differentiation, i.e. in number of commodity groups and species.

There has been an increasing trend in seafood consumption in Europe, though flattening out for the last years, and seafood consumption is increasing also in other continents and in particular so for Asia. It is expected based on demographic information i.e. population growth and increased urbanisation, that the increase in seafood consumption and thus demand, will increase for the developing continents i.e. Asia and Africa. This situation might increase the competition over the global seafood resource and both supplies for consumption and also for the EU processing industry might be challenged and at least cause a higher price for seafood.

Currently there is an increasing imbalance in seafood trade for EU and for the last year this imbalance is related to increased value of import (higher import price) and not so much related to volume.

PrimeFish will in the following months attempt to analyse and investigate how Europe can counteract this development and strengthen the economic sustainability of both its fishery and aquaculture sectors. And further, contribute to how one can develop sustainable uses of the European and global water based resources. 

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