Aquaculture in the Baltic Sea

The SUBMARINER Network coordinated the InnoAquaTech project (2016-2019) and now coordinates the Aquaculture Working Group which works to promote sustainable aquaculture in the Baltic Sea Region. This webpage presents the key facts, reports, networks and other relevant information on aquaculture in the Baltic Sea, including fish aquaculture but also crustaceans.

About Aquaculture

Aquaculture is world’s most popular source of animal protein, with an average sector growth worldwide of 8.8% yearly since 1980. Since 2000, the contribution of aquaculture products for human consumption has increased from 30 % to nearly 50 % of global aquatic food production. With about 27,000 tons (2009) of food fish and by-products produced in marine and brackish environments of the Baltic Sea, the region only had a share of under 0.1 % of global aquaculture production. Still, this production was estimated to be worth about € 77 million (2007). Marine and costal fish aquaculture operations in Finland are the biggest in the Baltic Sea Region. 

Sustainable fish aquaculture translates into the application of a technology that does not pollute the marine environment, does not deplete or permanently damage other marine species or ecosystem components, uses a sustainable feed-supply chain, is not dependent on the use of excessive fossil fuel based on energy and complies with the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and Aquaculture. The importance of aquaculture as a source of animal protein has increased dramatically over the past years as fish stocks are continuously decreasing and agricultural systems are failing to keep up with increasing demand for food. The European Commission’s Blue Growth Agenda identifies aquaculture as one of the most promising sectors in terms of economic growth and job potential. In the South Baltic area, however, aquaculture is not yet an established sector. Particularly innovative and environmentally friendly production technologies are still lacking in the region, technologies which could develop the sector and increase its international competitiveness. Marine fish contain a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids with substantial benefits for heart health. By-products such as roe and fish oil are also sold and often have a high market value.

Aquaculture applications

Animal feed

Carnivorous or omnivorous fish raised in an aquaculture system need to consume nutrients from other fish and seafood, just as in their natural habitat. These nutrients are obtained from small wild-caught fish (e.g. anchovies) that are processed into fishmeal or fish oil. Consequently, aquaculture is the largest overall user of fishmeal and fish oil, currently accounting for around 56 % of global use 16 and over 50 % of European use, 17 particularly in the salmon and trout industries. As a result, one of the major challenges facing sustainable aquaculture development is the procurement of feed for non-herbivorous fish from sustainable sources. To put this into context, it takes more fish biomass to raise some farmed species than those species actually produce. 

Human food

The main product derived from marine aquaculture is obviously farmed fish for human consumption in fresh, frozen or processed form and which can be marketed as whole fish, fillets or convenience products. It is generally accepted that fish is a healthy source of animal protein and its consumption in a well-balanced diet is recommended by the World Health Organization. In particular, marine fish contain a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids with substantial benefits for heart health. By-products such as roe and fish oil are also sold and often have a high market value. In the Baltic Sea Region, marine fish aquaculture production for human consumption is centered around a few key species, namely salmon trout (overwhelming majority of the volume produced) as well as some whitefish and in small quantities sea trout, Atlantic salmon, cod and turbot. An essential by-product of salmon and trout aquaculture is roe, which is marketed as ‘salmonid caviar’ for human consumption. 

  • Animal feed

    Carnivorous or omnivorous fish raised in an aquaculture system need to consume nutrients from other fish and seafood, just as in their natural habitat. These nutrients are obtained from small wild-caught fish (e.g. anchovies) that are processed into fishmeal or fish oil. Consequently, aquaculture is the largest overall user of fishmeal and fish oil, currently accounting for around 56 % of global use 16 and over 50 % of European use, 17 particularly in the salmon and trout industries. As a result, one of the major challenges facing sustainable aquaculture development is the procurement of feed for non-herbivorous fish from sustainable sources. To put this into context, it takes more fish biomass to raise some farmed species than those species actually produce. 

  • Human food

    The main product derived from marine aquaculture is obviously farmed fish for human consumption in fresh, frozen or processed form and which can be marketed as whole fish, fillets or convenience products. It is generally accepted that fish is a healthy source of animal protein and its consumption in a well-balanced diet is recommended by the World Health Organization. In particular, marine fish contain a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids with substantial benefits for heart health. By-products such as roe and fish oil are also sold and often have a high market value. In the Baltic Sea Region, marine fish aquaculture production for human consumption is centered around a few key species, namely salmon trout (overwhelming majority of the volume produced) as well as some whitefish and in small quantities sea trout, Atlantic salmon, cod and turbot. An essential by-product of salmon and trout aquaculture is roe, which is marketed as ‘salmonid caviar’ for human consumption. 

Information hub on Aquaculture

Latest news in Aquaculture

Upcoming events

No events found.
EUSBSR

SUBMARINER Network for Blue Growth EEIG

Kärntener Str. 20
DE–10827 Berlin

Germany

+4930832141740

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.