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Strategic Use of Competitiveness towards Consolidating the Economic Sustainability of the European Seafood sector (SUCCESS)

Crangon vessel Hallig Hooge
© Thünen-Institut/Ralf Döring
This is a typical small scale fishing vessel catching crangon at the German North Sea coast. The small scale fisheries have problems to stay competitive and profitable.

The supply of fish from fisheries is stagnating but supply from Aquaculture is fast increasing. It is, however, questionable if the increasing supply can meet the demand. For Europe is will be essential to stay competitive on the world markets with processed products but also to increase own production from aquaculture. The project will analyse the competitiveness of European companies along the value chain and production systems which may allow the longterm increase in supply from aquaculture.  

Background and Objective

SUCCESS is bringing together an integrated team of scientists from all fields of fisheries and aquaculture science with industry partners and key stakeholders to work on solutions which shall improve the competitiveness of the European fisheries and aquaculture sector. The supply-side of seafood markets is limited from both sea fisheries and aquaculture. At the same time demand for seafood products is increasing. In a globalised economy, the conjunction of these two trends should generate high opportunities for any seafood production activity. However, both fisheries and aquaculture companies are facing key challenges, which currently hinder them reaping the full benefits of seafood markets expansion, and even question their sustainability. As a whole, the EU fisheries sector remains at low levels of profitability and sustainability. The SUCCESS project will examine two strategies to improve the competitiveness of the sector: (i) increasing demand for EU seafood products, especially improving the awareness of the advantages of European production (including sustainability requirements and adjustment to market evolution); and (ii) cost reduction in certain production segments. For both strategies development on world markets as well as consumer preferences and awareness will be analyzed. Additionally, SUCCESS will explore the different sectors along the value chain (from fisheries and aquaculture producers via processing companies, wholesalers, retailers to direct marketing to mobile fishmongers and restaurants) and their potential for improvements in competitiveness. These analyses also include long term predictions about the viability of certain production systems and will be considered in specific case studies on for example mussel production, shrimp fisheries, whitefish, traditional pond aquaculture and new aquaculture production systems.

Target Group

Policy makers, Associations, Scientific Community and Public


Katrin Zander & Yvonne Feucht (2017): Consumers’ Willingness to Pay for Sustainable Seafood Made in Europe
Journal of International Food & Agribusiness Marketing, DOI:10.1080/08974438.2017.1413611Published online: 22 Dec 2017.

Future Developments in German Fish Market – Integration of Market Expert Knowledge into a Modelling System, 2018
Laura Angulo, Petra Salamon, Martin Banse, Ralf Döring, Matthias Keller, and Myrna van Leeuwen
International Journal on Food System Dynamics 9 (1), 2018, 67-78

Links and Downloads

Fish: From European origin, sustainably produced - What do consumers want?

How capable of competing are fishery and aquaculture?

Involved external Thünen-Partners


4.2015 - 3.2018

More Information

Funding program: EU – Horizon 2020 – Societal Challenge "Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry, Marine, Maritime and Inland Water Research and the Bioeconomy"
Project status: finished


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    Lasner T, Mytlewski A, Nourry M, Rakowski M, Oberle M (2020) Carp land: Economics of fish farms and the impact of region-marketing in the Aischgrund (DEU) and Barycz Valley (POL). Aquaculture 519:734731, DOI:10.1016/j.aquaculture.2019.734731

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