Factors affecting cross-border investments in EU aquaculture

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By Milthon Lujan

EUMOFA (European market observatory for fisheries and aquaculture products) has recently published the study “Factors affecting cross-border investments in EU aquaculture”. The study is available in English. 


The European aquaculture is highly diversified. Many different species are farmed both in the sea and in freshwater by a variety of enterprises ranging from large, world-leading companies to small family-owned businesses. This diversity leads to large differences in structures and technologies across EU Member States, which in turn impacts the factors considered important for investments and growth.

Small-scale operators identify operational and investment support arrangements (see chapter 3) as important to facilitate cross-border investments and investments in general, while this is not an issue for large salmon farming companies. Operators of seabass and seabream farms in the Mediterranean highlight increased marketing efforts as important for investments and growth. A factor universally considered a barrier, both in the literature and by those interviewed for this study, is bureaucracy and time for the application process related to licencing.

By focusing on “specialisation and scalability” rather than “diversification”, EU Member States could encourage economies of scale making the sector more attractive to investors and others – research and educational institutions, suppliers, and qualified workers, who ultimately will inject increased productivity and innovations into the sector.

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