May 11, 2021


EU aquaculture's sales volumes drop 17% due to COVID-19


The European Union's aquaculture production reached 1.2 million tonnes, with €4.1 billion (US$5 billion) in turnover in 2018, according to a new JRC report.


However, the report estimates that the COVID-19 pandemic hit the sector by decreasing income sources and increasing costs.


The report's main sources of data come from national reporting up to 2018. The data shows that EU aquaculture production is concentrated in four countries: Spain (27%), France (18%), Italy (12%), and Greece (11%), together accounting for 69% of sales and 62% of turnover.


Looking beyond 2018, scientists had developed and applied a "nowcast" tool to estimate the current economic situation for aquaculture and the impact of the pandemic on the sector.


The report estimates that the pandemic has led to a 17% decrease in sales volumes and 8% decrease in prices.


In particular, sales of marine fish are estimated to have fallen by 3%, shellfish by 19% and freshwater fish by 10%.


The nowcast tool works by modelling the expected changes in weight of sales, total sales value and employment by applying variables from existing and estimated trends to the most recent data available for each country.


Additionally, the report finds that the disruption caused by the pandemic led to fish remaining on farms to be sold at a later date. This led to an increase in feed costs, as well as in other related costs such as labour, repair and maintenance.


- The Fish Site