The EU aquaculture sector reached 1.4 million tonnes in sales volume and €4.9 billion in value, in 2016. Production has increased by 2.2% yearly between 2014 and 2016 in volume and 3.1% in value. Profit almost doubled over the same period, reaching €0.8 billion total EBIT in 2016. This marks a strong recovery from the bad year of 2013 in most of the large aquaculture countries.
The EU is home to some 12,500 aquaculture enterprises, mostly micro-businesses employing less than 10 employees. Employment has remained stable in terms of total employees (73,000) but has significantly expanded in terms of full-time equivalents: from 36,000 in 2013 to almost 44,000 in 2016. This implies that aquaculture firms are providing more stable employment opportunities.
This positive trend is likely to continue. With investment being significantly higher than depreciation, the sector has a positive perception about its future development.