Aquaculture continues to grow in economic importance. The main reason for this is the quantifiable contribution aquaculture is making in many countries to fill the growing gap between supply and demand for fisheries products. This gap continues to widen because of increasing human populations and the static growth rates of capture fisheries brought about by declines in stocks and the increasing cost of obtaining fish through conventional methods. Although this gap can (and in some cases is already) being met by alternatives, such as inexpensive poultry and white meats, aquaculture particularly provides consumers with a choice of fresh products.
Aquaculture is also evident in earning foreign exchange for many countries through the export of high-value products. It also creates employment, particularly in economically depressed coastal and remote regions, and contributes to the household economy of rural farmers.
This eighth regional survey prepared by the Aquaculture Development and Coordination Programme (ADCP) covers the existing aquaculture sector in the countries of Eastern Europe (namely Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, German Democratic Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) and Northwestern Europe (namely Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Faeroes, Finland, the Federal Republic of Germany, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom). Certain other countries which might normally be associated with these sub-regions (namely Albania, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Yugoslavia) have been included in the Regional Survey of the Mediterranean (ADCP/REP/89/34).
This present survey is not exhaustive. It has been prepared by Hans Ackefors in a relatively brief desk study. For some countries of these developed aquaculture sub-regions detailed information is still difficult to obtain. The ADCP apologizes for any omissions and errors which may exist in the survey, and hopes that these can be corrected in an up-dated survey. New information and notification of changes and errors should be indicated to the ADCP in the Fisheries Department, FAO, Rome. The detailed Table of Contents illustrates the range of information which, hopefully, will be assembled in due course for all regions.
The survey is directed toward administrators, executives, and managers who require broad overviews, rather than for scientists and technologists who require detailed information about species and practices. It is the eighth of a series of regional surveys. To this end, the ADCP hopes that the reader will find the information described here useful.
Colin E. Nash
Craig B. Kensler