Germany is far behind

Looking ahead


Because most capture fisheries cannot now expand in terms of output, fish are increasingly produced in aquaculture facilities. Worldwide, aquaculture now produces about the same amount of fish as capture fisheries. However, in Germany, aquaculture output has stagnated at a low level. The German share of world production is less than 0.1 % and eight out of ten fish consumed in Germany are imported. This is not because of a lack of potential: our country is rich in water resources and a large proportion of rainfall drains unused to the sea.

I Is this good? Where can levers for change be applied? Federal and state governments are addressing these questions in the National Strategic Plan for Aquaculture.  In parallel, the German Agricultural Research Alliance (DAFA) established an Aquaculture Expert Forum to consider the contribution science can make. Leadership is provided by the Thünen Institute. The Expert Forum concludes that "business as usual" is not an option for both aquaculture policy and policy-supported related research policy.  Therefore the DAFA recommends sweeping changes.

The Expert Forum recommends that:

  1. perspective studies focused on the future direction of aquaculture be conducted;
  2. interdisciplinary pilot projects that test a site-specific expansion of aquaculture in Germany be supported; and
  3. a German aquaculture centre  be established to more strongly pool the existing resources.

The DAFA strategy offers a basis for the expansion of aquaculture. In addition, it draws attention to the importance of assessing sustainability in considering the global trade in aquaculture products.