Skip to main content
European Commission logo
EU Aquaculture Assistance Mechanism

Background information

Type of species farmed (Sources: 2023, EUMOFA; 2022, STECF; MNSPA; Greece, personal com., January 26, 2023)

Main marine species are Gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata) and Seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax), Meagre (Argyrosomus regius), Great amberjack (Seriola dumerilli), Sharp-snout sea bream (Diplodus puntazzo), Red sea bream (Pagrus major), Mussel (Mytilus spp.). 

Refering to freshwater aquaculture in Greece, the main species are Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), Common carp (Cyprinus carpio), Coho salmon (Oncorhynchus cisutch), European eel (Anguila anguila), and spirulina species. 

Main species in brackish waters (extensive aquaculture in lagoons) are: Mugilidae: (Mugil cephalus, Lisa ramada, Lisa saliens, Lisa aurata), Gilt-head sea bream (Sparus aurata), Sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) and European Eel (Anguilla Anguilla). 

Type of production method (Sources: 2023, EUMOFA & MNSPA) 

According to Eurostat, in 2021, 98% of Greek production occurred in sea and brackish waters (almost entirely in marine waters) and the rest in freshwater. The main production method used was cages, in sea water.  

Freshwater aquaculture in Greece concerns the farming of aquatic organisms, in land-based ponds. In addition, two shrimp farms of the species Paenaeus monodon (with an annual capacity of 516 tonnes) and Lithopaeneus vanamei (with an annual capacity of 100 tonnes) have also been approved recently, in land-based closed water systems of the biofloc type. In Greece, 6 microalgae plants (Arthrospira spp and Spirulina spp) are also operated in closed greenhouses tanks with an annual capacity of 170 tonnes, where geothermal is used to heat water.

Sector’s size (production and consumption) (Sources: 2023, EUMOFA) 

  • Production (2021): 143.694 Tn; 640.859 thousand €  
  • Consumption of fishery and aquaculture products (2021): 19,56 Kg per capita  
  • % Variation in consumption 2020/2019: -1% 

Trends (past and future) (Source: MNSPA) 

  • Increasing Greek aquaculture production at a rate of 3% until 2025 and 5% until 2030 (National Strategic Objective).
  • Strengthening competitiveness and research. There is therefore a need to promote knowledge, innovation and technology transfer in the sector and to support species diversification, both in terms of climate change adaptation and increased diversification and competitiveness of Mediterranean aquaculture. 
  • Increasing organic production.

Impact of aquaculture on the country’s economy, food market and labour market (Source: MNSPA) 

  • Greece is the largest producer of sea bream and sea bass in the EU and a leading power in the wider Mediterranean region.
  • Freshwater aquaculture in Greece is not highly developed, mainly due to the low availability of fresh water in the country, but is a particularly important economic sector for some mountainous areas of the Continental region.

Challenges (Source: MNSPA)

  • Implementation of the current Special Framework for Spatial Planning: The main priority remains the designation of Areas of Organized Development of Aquaculture, operating under a management body, each one authorized with a Presidential Decree (6 of them are already issued for an equal number of such areas). According to the current Special Spatial Framework, broader Areas suitable for Aquaculture are already defined and mapped throughout of Greece, which are receptors of the above-mentioned Areas of Organized Development.
  • Review of current Special Spatial Framework for aquaculture: The implementation along with Review and modification of the current Special Spatial Framework are necessary for further development of the sector (new licences, capacity expansion, simplification in licensing, business certainty, and better management.
  • The turnover of marine aquaculture in the region is increasing. However, the competitiveness of small businesses is hampered by the low level of innovation and modernisation of aquaculture facilities, limited access to research and innovation and low capacity to diversify species.
  • Climate change.
  • Fragmented, disorganised (and often non-existent) marketing strategies.
  • Low bargaining power of local producers with large-scale fish traders.
  • Lack of access to loans.
  • Insufficient organisation of producers.
  • Competition from products from third countries marketed at low prices, but do not have to comply with the same strict standards as the EU.
  • Simplification of procedures and reduce the delay times in the completion of the permit granting process.

Opportunities (Source: MNSPA)

  • Promoting adequate sustainable aquaculture production in wetlands/lagoons could also serve to preserve these ecosystems, which also mitigate coastal erosion due to climate change.
  • The development of floating units on the high seas or other types of production with high added value (e.g. algae for pharmaceuticals) offers opportunities to increase the competitiveness and profitability of small and medium-sized enterprises. 
  • The position of aquaculture producers and the aquaculture value chain could be strengthened by supporting product diversification, creating new producer organisations and encouraging cooperation between producers, fish processing and distribution and marketing chains.
  • Measures to increase social acceptance and improve the image of aquaculture could also be encouraged with a view to enhancing the competitiveness of the sector.
  • Aquaculture can thus help develop blue biotechnology and offer many new products, such as pharmaceutical or biochemical enzymes. In addition to these, there are also opportunities to produce biofuels (algae are a promising source), animal feed, cosmetics, but also ways of restoring the environment (biodegradation).
  • Integrated Multitrophic Aquaculture (IMTA) is an innovative approach in which by-products and waste from the main farmed organisms dispersed in the immediate environment are a nutrient medium for parallel or complementary cultivation of additional species. These additional species may be species that remove the inorganic (e.g. macroalgae) or organic load (e.g. sponges, bivalve). ​​​​​​

Employment and number of enterprises (Source: Hellenic Statistical Authority, ELSTAT) 

The number of staff directly employed for the years 2016-2018: in marine aquaculture is 3.100 and it is estimated that there are no significant changes; in freshwater aquaculture production, is 250 and it is estimated that there are no significant changes; in the production of aquaculture species in lagoons is 350.

MNSP to develop sustainable aquaculture

Applicable Legislation

Applicable Procedures

  • Environmental permit 
  • Aquaculture authorization:  (i) Approval for establishment, and (ii) Notification of operation 

National associations and networks

Contact Details

  • Name and surname: Angeliki Kallara 
  • Position held and name of the organisation: Director of Aquaculture, Hellenic Ministry of Rural Development & Food 
  • Email address: 
  • Telephone number: +30.2109287193 


Summary in English of the "Published National Strategic Plan on Aquaculture" for Greece
(484.5 KB - PDF)