Coordinated EU aquaculture policy

Coordinated EU aquaculture policy

In Europe, aquaculture accounts for about 20% of fish production and directly employs some 85 000 people. The sector is mainly composed of SMEs or micro-enterprises in coastal and rural areas. EU aquaculture is renowned for its high quality, sustainability and consumer protection standards.

EU overall output has been more or less constant in volume since 2000 whereas global production, at the same time, has been growing by nearly 7% per year.

Coordinated EU aquaculture policy

The Commission intends to boost the aquaculture sector through the Common Fisheries Policy reform, and in 2013 published Strategic Guidelines presenting common priorities and general objectives at EU level. Four priority areas were identified in consultation with all relevant stakeholders:

  • reducing administrative burdens
  • improving access to space and water
  • increasing competitiveness
  • exploiting competitive advantages due to high quality, health and environmental standards.

On the basis of the guidelines, the Commission and EU countries are collaborating to help increase the sector’s production and competitiveness. EU countries have been asked to set up multiannual plans to promote aquaculture. The Commission is helping with the identification of bottlenecks but also facilitates cooperation, coordination and exchange of best practices between EU countries.

Main Member State policy priorities and spending

The latest infographic on Aquaculture in the EUSearch for available translations of the preceding link analysing the main priorities of aquaculture development across Member States as well as planned actions by Member States.

The Commission has produced a graphical overview of the main actionsSearch for available translations of the preceding link Member States have planned to take in order to address the four priorities linked with how EMFF funding will be spent.  More detail on the specific actions planned by each individual Member State can be found in the Multiannual national plans page.


Search for available translations of the preceding link


The European Commission has launched a number of campaigns to promote sustainable aquaculture in the EU. Most recently these include the Tapping Into Blue Growth conference, the Farmed in the EU campaign and the aquaculture schools project. These campaigns aim to highlight the role of aquaculture for EU citizens and to pass the message about what aquaculture is all about.