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Aquaculture & fisheries

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aquaculture and Fishery products supplied by the Mediterranean basin and consumed within the Mediterranean countries

Key facts:

  • 65% of fishery domestic production stems from aquaculture; 35% from fishing.
  • Of the total production in 2021, 80% was distributed across the EU and third countries, while the remaining 20% was distributed on the domestic market.
  • As the main markets for Greek fish farming, Italy, Spain, and France  absorb 58% of the country’s aquaculture output.
  • Low demand for organic farmed fish.
  • Currently high production costs (mainly associated with fish meal and pharmaceutical, vaccine prices).
  • Trade and transportation have a negative environmental impact.

Key stakeholders:

  • Fish meal suppliers.
  • Aquaculture producers.
  • Processing companies.
  • Transportation companies.
  • Logistics/storage centers.
  • Certification companies.
  • Retail/wholesale stakeholders.
  • Consumers.
  • Food and bioeconomy businesses.
  • Research institutions.
  • Governance and policy makers.
  • Aquaculture and fishery groups and associations.
  • Animal welfare associations.

Aims, needs and challenges:

  • Provision of good quality and safely farmed products (fishers and fish farmers).
  • Simplification of bureaucratic procedures for licenses and certifications (fish farmers).
  • Better understanding the status, evolution and sustainability of main fish stocks (fishers).
  • Systematic training in sustainable fish farming practices to meet standards based on technological efficiency, (fish farmers).
  • Systematic training in appropriate fishing practices in order to meet standards based on technological efficiency for capture selection and reduction of fish discard (fishers).
  • Reduce aquatic fish loss and waste (fishers).
  • Increase participation in policy development for small-scale aquaculture stakeholders (fish farmers).
  • Proactive development and implementation of measures to ensure skilled workforce remains available (fishers and fish farmers).
  • Address unreported and unregulated fishing.

Value chain and impact on biodiversity:

  • The high market demand for fish products in combination with illegal and unregulated fishing on the supply side, has led to the depletion of large amounts of fish stocks and severe degradation of the Mediterranean marine ecosystem.
  • Policies aim to regulate human activities towards more resilient and viable fish stocks in the Mediterranean (Common Fisheries Policy of the EU, UN Convention of the Law of the Sea). Still, most of these policies only regulate activities on the supply side of biodiversity, e.g., by setting fishing quotas.
  • Current policies fail to capture the Nexus of the entire supply chain of marine biodiversity and do not take into account the large impact fish trade and consumption have on stocks and aquaculture. 
  • Due to global trade, fish products have become widely accessible, regardless of the distance from the ocean. The corresponding increase in trade and trans-shipment has had adverse effects on the marine environment, such as pollution from shipping, as well as large amounts of waste from processing and discards of fish that is not as  profitable financially.