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Consolidating the economic sustainability and competitiveness of European fisheries and aquaculture sectors to reap the potential of seafood markets

Specific challenge: Control of the production process, biological and environmental sustainability is necessary but not sufficient to ensure the economic sustainability of a seafood production enterprise. Fisheries and aquaculture sectors face competition in the global marketplace, both for inputs and for outputs. In addition, the limited availability of appropriate production and socio-economic data hampers the development of reliable models and prediction tools. Meeting these challenges is necessary for ensuring the long term economic sustainability of European fisheries and aquaculture sectors (marine and freshwater).

Scope:Proposals should focus on the economic sustainability of European fisheries and aquaculture (marine and freshwater), which is defined as the long term economic viability of the sector. Proposals should study and analyse production segments, systems and products, taking into account supply chains and markets as well as attempts to increase social awareness of health claims and acceptance of aquaculture products. They should consider and analyse the effects of several factors, including production costs, productivity growth, market development, supply chain, demand and supply characteristics, international trade price fluctuations, innovation and product development, etc. In addition, the impact of different regulatory systems on the profitability and growth of these sectors should be evaluated.

Proposals should also focus on the trends and dynamics of European and global seafood markets and explore the competitive potential of European fisheries and aquaculture products in this context. They should also investigate the interaction between European fisheries and aquaculture products in local and global markets. They should identify and analyse successful seafood products, investigate market niches as well as the potential of existing marketing tools promoting responsible practices (labels, certification schemes etc.) to boost the competitiveness of the European fishing and aquaculture industry. Finally, they should compile and quantify non market values of fisheries and aquaculture.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact:

  • Consolidation of the economic sustainability of European fisheries and aquaculture sectors (marine and freshwater).
  • Scientific support to fishermen and aquaculture producers to better understand and benefit from the functioning of their markets.
  • Availability of tools for production planning and development of novel products and markets, taking into account trends in the local and global seafood value chain and consumers preferences.
  • Better understanding of the value chain organisation and of prices cycles, including in particular the 'boom and bust' cycles, and availability of solutions for predicting and avoiding similar situations in the future.

         Boosting the competitiveness of European seafood products by identifying the added value of existing marketing tools and their potential in steering European consumers' choices.

Type of action: Research and innovation actions