Trends in Fisheries and Aquaculture Production in Europe
Fisheries in the marine and inland waters of Europe have been an important source of food and employment since the human occupation and development of the continent. Drastic changes have occurred in the last century which have altered the yield and the expectation from these resources. Rapid technological development created overcapacity in the marine fishery causing collapses in many of the more valuable groundfish stocks and their replacement by less valuable species. The total quantity of fish landed has also declined, and can only be restored through careful management. Environmental changes and pollution have damaged the fish communities in the inland waters with both resident and migratory species disappearing or declining in abundance. In any eventuality social and economic forces have changed the destination of the inland fisheries from food to recreation. Conservation lobbies are advocating even stricter regulations on the way such resources are managed particularly with regard to the stocking and introductions which are the keystone of present policies. Increases in food production can not, therefore, be anticipated from the capture fisheries where the main requisite is to manage to sustain present levels of production or even reduce them to allow stocks to recuperate. Shortfalls in production are largely filled by a growing and sophisticated aquaculture industry. Inland aquaculture concentrates mainly on salmonids in western and carps in eastern Europe. Marine aquaculture is heavily reliant on molluscs but recent developments in finfish, initially for salmon and later for bass, bream and turbot indicate the diversification and flexibility of this sector.
KeywordsEurope Cage Marketing Fishing Keystone
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