European Aquaculture Competitiveness : Limitations and Possible Strategies

15-09-2009

This study examines the competitiveness of the EU aquaculture sector, as a contribution to the wider review of EU aquaculture policy being carried out by the European Community institutions. EU aquaculture competes with its international equivalents, with outputs from capture fisheries, and more fundamentally within global food markets. With small exceptions, the sector invests in production within the EU, and as little of its product is exported, competition is so far primarily defined within EU markets. Whilst EU aquatic food consumption has risen over the past 10 years, with stable or declining capture fisheries supply, most of this increase has come from imports rather than growth of EU aquaculture. To substantially increase aquaculture production at competitive prices for mainstream EU markets will require larger entities capable of scale economies, although small and micro-enterprises can also provide niche products and help sustain rural and coastal livelihoods. As spatial expansion is highly constrained by environmental regulation and conflicts with other resource users, productivity gains will be important in increasing output. Technological solutions are emerging, but are costly, so under current conditions, investments are more likely to be made in lower-cost production systems in third countries that export to the EU.

This study examines the competitiveness of the EU aquaculture sector, as a contribution to the wider review of EU aquaculture policy being carried out by the European Community institutions. EU aquaculture competes with its international equivalents, with outputs from capture fisheries, and more fundamentally within global food markets. With small exceptions, the sector invests in production within the EU, and as little of its product is exported, competition is so far primarily defined within EU markets. Whilst EU aquatic food consumption has risen over the past 10 years, with stable or declining capture fisheries supply, most of this increase has come from imports rather than growth of EU aquaculture. To substantially increase aquaculture production at competitive prices for mainstream EU markets will require larger entities capable of scale economies, although small and micro-enterprises can also provide niche products and help sustain rural and coastal livelihoods. As spatial expansion is highly constrained by environmental regulation and conflicts with other resource users, productivity gains will be important in increasing output. Technological solutions are emerging, but are costly, so under current conditions, investments are more likely to be made in lower-cost production systems in third countries that export to the EU.

Ārējais autors

John Bostock (University of Stirling Institute of Aquaculture - UoS), Francis Murray (University of Stirling Institute of Aquaculture - UoS), James Muir (University of Stirling Institute of Aquaculture - UoS), Trevor Telfer (University of Stirling Institute of Aquaculture - UoS), Alistair Lane (European Aquaculture Society - EAS), Nikos Papanikos (APC Advanced Planning - Consulting SA - APC S.A), Philippos Papegeorgiou (APC Advanced Planning - Consulting SA - APC S.A) and Victoria Alday-Sanz