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EU Blue Economy Observatory
News announcement13 May 20241 min read

Commission offers recommendations and best practices for aquaculture

In a quest to support EU Member States in facilitating the sustainable growth of aquaculture, two staff working documents have been published. 

This is in response to aquaculture producers’ calls to reduce the administrative burden of establishing and operating aquaculture sites in the EU.

The objective is to unlock the potential of aquaculture in the EU. Despite all the benefits, aquaculture production in the EU has not grown as fast as in other parts of the world. EU aquaculture production only covers 10% of the fish and seafood consumed in the EU and accounts for less than 2% of world production.

Addressing obstacles to aquaculture growth

There are two major obstacles to aquaculture growth across many EU Member States:

  • a complex regulatory framework and unnecessarily difficult administrative procedures, and
  • difficulties in access to space and water necessary for the development of marine aquaculture.

The documents elaborate on the recommendations included in the EU strategic guidelines on facilitating the sustainable development of aquaculture in EU Member States with the objective of:

They consolidate good practices and provide concrete examples of how they have been applied in some EU Member States. Given the proximity of Norway and the UK to the EU and the importance of their aquaculture sectors, the documents also look at their good practices.

These documents were prepared in close consultation with Member States and stakeholders represented by the Aquaculture Advisory Council. The Commission hopes that these documents will support EU Member States in achieving their objectives, as set out in their own multi-annual national strategic plans for aquaculture and  their national programmes implementing the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund.

Next steps

Later in 2024, the Commission will publish a document on access to space and water for freshwater and land-based aquaculture.

Aquaculture is a sector that is subject to continuous innovation and technological development. To better meet existing and emerging challenges and support future development, the Commission will continue to publish updates to these documents on the EU aquaculture website.

Through the EU Aquaculture Assistance Mechanism, the Commission will provide dedicated training on these documents to Member States’ authorities responsible for aquaculture development.  An e-learning module for each of these documents will also be available on the EU aquaculture website.

For more information


Publication date
13 May 2024