The Blue Economy covers a wide variety of sectors and activities. Established sectors include marine living resources (e.g. fisheries and aquaculture), marine non-living resources (e.g. offshore gas and oil and sand and gravel), marine renewable energy (e.g. offshore wind energy), port activities, shipbuilding and repair, maritime transport and coastal tourism. Emerging sectors comprise ocean energy (e.g. wave and tidal energy), blue bioeconomy and biotechnology (e.g. pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and biofuel), desalination, marine minerals, maritime defence and submarine cables. 
This week, we focus on the aquaculture sector which accounts for about 20% of fish production in Europe and directly employs some 70,000 people.  Aquaculture is a significant activity in many Member States, producing around 1.3 million tonnes in volume. The top 3 species in aquaculture in the European Union (EU) in 2017 in terms of volume were the Mediterranean mussel, the Atlantic salmon and the Rainbow trout. 
The European Green Deal aims to make the EU's economy sustainable and to achieve net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050. The EU’s Farm to Fork Strategy is at the heart of the European Green Deal, and aims to make food systems fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly. The sustainable development of the EU aquaculture sector can contribute to this, to food security, as well as to the preservation of rural and coastal areas. However, the sector’s development has been hampered by ongoing barriers, including complex administrative procedures or access to space. Aquaculture also faces new challenges arising from the impacts of climate change. To address these issues, the European Commission is currently updating the Strategic Guidelines for the sustainable development of EU aquaculture.  A public consultation was organized in 2020. Promoting sustainable EU aquaculture can also play an important role in addressing current political priorities such as decarbonisation, circularity and combating pollution.
Explore the Map of the Week to learn about aquaculture production of fish and shellfish by country. Data is available for thirteen different species. Select a species in the dropdown list to see the related map. Wish to know more?
The data in this map are provided by Eurostat.