Fisheries and aquaculture | Kustportaal

Fisheries and aquaculture

At European level, both fisheries and aquaculture policy are conducted under the umbrella of the Common Fisheries Policy. In 2016, global aquatic production (both freshwater and saltwater organisms from wild capture and aquaculture) amounted to 202.2 million tonnes. Aquaculture accounted for 110 million tonnes (54.5%), of which 58.9 million tonnes came from marine activities. With an annual growth rate of 7.3% in production volume, the aquaculture sector is the fastest growing food production sector (FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Information and Statistics Service 2018). However, at the level of the European Union, mariculture production has been stagnating for two decades (~1 million tonnes).

The global marine wild catch in 2016 was 80.4 million tonnes, of which the EU accounts for 5 million tonnes (6%). At EU level, wild fishing has been characterised in recent decades by a decrease in production volume of an average of 1.5% per year over the last three decades.

With the exception of some test projects (Value@Sea, Edulis) and one commercially exploited shellfish culture in the Ostend Sluice Dock, there are no mariculture activities on the Belgian territory. The commercial supply of sea fish by the Belgian fishing fleet has fluctuated between 19,000 and 27,000 tonnes since 2000 (Devogel en Velghe 2017). In addition to commercial fishing, recreational sea fishing also takes place from the sea and from the beach. These are mapped out in the framework of the national programme of measures of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive. The zones in which these activities are permitted are defined by the Marine Spatial Plan (MSP, Royal Decree of 20 March 2014, see also Van de Velde et al. 2014).

More information on

Commercial sea fisheries
Recreational sea fisheries
Marine aquaculture