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Oceans and fisheries
News announcement9 November 2020Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries

The EU Fish Market 2020 edition is now online

“The EU fish market” is a comprehensive analysis of the EU fisheries and aquaculture industry. If you want to discover more about what is produced/exported/imported, when and where, what is consumed, by whom and what the main trends are, then have a look at the EUMOFA yearly report. The publication is available in English, French, Spanish, German and Italian.

Slight decrease of EU per capita consumption

In 2018, the consumption of fishery and aquaculture products in the EU was estimated at 24,36 kg per capita (live weight). On average, EU citizens consumed 430 grams less compared to 2017. Wild-caught products prevailed with 18 kg (three-quarters of the total). Alaska Pollock showed the highest consumption increase at 9%.The most significant decrease was registered for cod at 17% due to both a decline in imports and catches, even though the 2018 level corresponds to its decade average.

With higher prices, EU household expenditure on fishery and aquaculture products continued to increase

With the highest consumer prices for fisheries and aquaculture products ever registered, 2019 figures show that households of all EU countries spent more on buying fishery and aquaculture products than in 2018. Spain recorded the highest increase of total expenditure. Italy has always been the member state with the highest level of total expenditure, while Portugal recorded the highest per capita expenditure (more than triple the EU average).

Central role of the EU in the global trade of fishery and aquaculture products

In 2019, the EU was the world’s second largest trader of fishery and aquaculture products after China. The total value of EU trade flow was 44% higher than 10 years before. As a net importer, the EU had a deficit of €21 billion, which was slightly higher than in 2018.

Total landings in the EU decreased

The decrease of landings was mainly driven by the drop of sand eel landings destined for industrial use in Denmark. However, landings of several of the main commercial species significantly increased, mainly skipjack tuna in Spain and scallop in France.

Fisheries and aquaculture sectors significantly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis

The players traditionally targeting the Hotellerie-Restaurant-Café (HoReCa) segment were more affected by the COVID-19 pandemic than any other sector. Loss of export opportunities has been a challenge for both sectors. With weak demand in export markets, products were sold on the EU market at lower prices. In the fishing sector, fisheries targeting species typically sold fresh were strongly impacted, while a minor impact was registered for small pelagics, which are mainly processed into frozen products and their market prices remain relatively low.

“The EU fish market” can be downloaded from the EUMOFA website and is available in English, French, Spanish, German and Italian.


EUMOFA is a platform developed by the European Commission that offers information on the European Union fisheries and aquaculture sector. It gives access to the latest industry data, analyses EU market dynamics, and supports business decisions and policy-making. Read more about EUMOFA.


Publication date
9 November 2020
Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries