January 18, 2017


Survey: Fish consumption in EU increasing


Fish consumption of Europeans is increasing, with 42% of them eating fish/aquaculture products at least once a week at home, a new survey has found.


The Eurobarometer survey on EU consumer choices showed that people in the EU eat seafood quite regularly, most of them saying they eat fish because it is healthy. Nevertheless, how far people live from the sea is a factor in how often they eat fish.


"This survey helps us see how Europeans choose their seafood. This helps inform our policies. We must make sure that consumers continue to have a wide range of high quality seafood to choose from. That is why we are determined to reach targets on sustainable fishing by 2020", said Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Commissioner Karmenu Vella.


The survey disclosed a strong preference for fish and seafood of regional, national and European origin (80%). Reducing import dependency by developing sustainable fishing and aquaculture in the EU was also emphasised.


Of those surveyed, 66% think the information on products is clear and easy to understand, showing that EU labelling rules are working.


Other findings include:


-- 68% of consumers indicated that they would eat more fish if the prices were lower.


-- People mainly buy their seafood at the supermarket, and look first at its appearance, then its price and origin. 


-- The survey findings jive with those of another new study by EUMOFA, the Commission's European market observatory for fisheries and aquaculture products. The study, which looked into retailers' strategies and national campaigns promoting seafood consumption, notes the growing importance of farmed seafood products in the EU market, given the need for retailers to ensure a stable supply.

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