Spanish Aquaculture: Growth and Sustainability – Spanish aquaculture continues to thrive, with impressive numbers in 2023. According to the annual report published by APROMAR, the Spanish Association of Aquaculture Fish Producers, total production reached 326,520 tonnes, with an estimated first-sale value of EUR 760.7 million. These figures are an important indicator of growth and development in the Spanish fish sector.
Mussel the most produced species
Mussel is confirmed as the most produced species, followed by sea bass, rainbow trout and bluefin tuna. APROMAR’s report not only provides a detailed picture of the sector, but is crucial in promoting its growth and understanding. Initially intended for industry professionals, the report also has a significant impact on public administrations, legislators, politicians, the media, students and the general public.
Data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food collected by APROMAR indicate that mussel production reached 255,218 tonnes, with an estimated value of 159.3 million. In the marine fish sector, production amounted to 58,672 tonnes in 2022, an increase of 11.8 per cent from the previous year. This production has an estimated value of EUR 527.8 million, with European sea bass and bluefin tuna leading the way.
Decline in sea bream production
A point of focus was the production of Spanish sea bream, which decreased by 7.3% year-on-year to 8,932 tonnes, with an estimated first-sale value of €40.2 million.
In continental aquaculture, rainbow trout is the main species, with 16,328 tonnes and EUR 43.6 million in value. In 2022, this production increased by 4.1% compared to the previous year, with a trend towards larger sizes.
Of great importance is the relatively low environmental impact of aquaculture in Spain. During 2022, aquaculture consumed 114,177 tonnes of feed, of which 84.5% was used to feed marine fish and the rest for continental species. This consumption represents only 1% of the total livestock feed consumed in the country, demonstrating the sector’s efficiency and potential as a sustainable source of food for the future.
The Region of Murcia emerged as the leader in marine fish production in 2022, with 18,953 tonnes, consolidating its position as a reference in national aquaculture, thanks to the significant presence of sea bream and bass.
Projections for 2023 are optimistic, with production growth forecasts for many marine fish species and an expected increase in volume for sea bream and sea bass as well. This reality reflects Spain’s commitment to sustainable development, seeking cost-effective solutions that respect the environment and guarantee access to high quality food for the population.
APROMAR’s annual report, based on data collected between 2021 and 2023, is an important tool to understand and follow the evolution of aquaculture in Spain. In addition to data from APROMAR members, the report draws on information from organisations such as the European Commission, the FAO, the Federation of European Aquaculture Producers (FEAP) and other reliable sources to provide a complete and accurate view of the current state of the sector.
Spanish Aquaculture: Growth and Sustainability