Skip to main content
European Commission logo
EU Aquaculture Assistance Mechanism

Background information

Type of species farmed (Source: 2023, EUMOFA; 2022, STECF) 

Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), Blue mussel (Mytilus edulis), Oyster (several species) Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus), Atlantic salmon (Salmon salar) and European eel (Anguilla anguilla). 

Type of production method (Source: 2021, Official Statistics of Sweden) 

According to Official Statistics of Sweden in 2021, 96% of Swedish production for human consumption occurred entirely in freshwater. The following main production methods (both for human consumption and restocking) were used: 

▪ 25% of production: in cages, mostly in freshwater. 

▪ 70% of production: in tanks and raceways in freshwater. 

▪ 5% of production: rest has been classified no detail is available. 

▪ The rest has not specified; the data is only available in aggregated terms.Sector’s size (production and consumption)

Sector’s size (production and consumption) (Source: 2023, EUMOFA; 2021, Official Statistics of Sweden) 

  • Production: 16.207 Tn; 48.411 thousand € (2021, Official Statistics of Sweden) 
  • Consumption of fishery and aquaculture products (2021): 22,71 Kg per capita (2023, EUMOFA) 
  • % Variation in consumption 2021/2020: -5% (2023, EUMOFA) 

Trends (past and future) (Source: MNSPA) 

Many aquaculture systems are currently monocultures but the production of organisms from different trophic levels in the same establishment is under development.


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

  • The aquaculture industry in Sweden has stagnated slightly in recent years in terms of productivity and profitability. 
  • The majority of aquaculture products produced in Sweden are used for human consumption. Rainbow trout, blue mussels and smokers account for the largest share of production based on weight. Aquaculture may also cover restocking or further rearing. Some species are also produced for their beneficial environmental characteristics, such as bivalve molluscs which, by filtering water, bind the nutrients that could otherwise lead to eutrophication.

Challenges and opportunities (Source: MNSPA) 


  • Regulatory requirements resulting in complex permit granting processes and long processing times. The authorisation process for aquaculture is often lengthy, which is considered to be particularly problematic as the permits are normally valid for a maximum of 10 years. 
  • Suitable aquaculture sites, taking into account the environment and other activities, have not been identified in the municipality’s master plan to the desired extent. 
  • Difficulties in meeting existing environmental requirements and difficulties for companies to switch to more environmentally sustainable production. 
  • Increasing aquaculture production to meet local demand and decrease imports. 
  • Improving technical training and new regulatory frameworks knowledge. 
  • Lack of testing facilities to develop the aquaculture sector. For example, there are no facilities that can support the important step between research and innovation to commercial production. 
  • The market in domestic aquaculture products competes with cheaper imported raw materials produced using methods not allowed in Sweden. 
  • The aquatic environment in the Baltic Sea and in several other Swedish waters has several challenges such as litter, microplastics, changes in water temperature, eutrophication and environmental toxins.  
  • Climate change entails an increase in the frequency of extreme weather, which poses a threat to aquaculture carried out in natural waters. Climate change can also affect land-based crops in the form of increased need to be able to regulate the temperature of the water. 
  • Predators such as seals and birds can impair aquaculture productivity. Invasive species can also threaten the aquaculture industry, for example by spreading diseases and parasites.  


  • Aquaculture has the potential to focus more on innovation and new technological developments in both farming and feed development. 
  • The market has consumers who demand environmentally sustainable and organic products. Added value such as quality, environmentally friendly production and good animal health can increase the competitiveness of Swedish aquaculture products. 
  • In the Swedish market there is a demand for certified and sustainably fished fish as consumers show a growing interest in both locally produced and environmentally certified food. Different types of certification can allow differentiation and be an effective way to respond to a growing demand, so it can be important for aquaculture to be more widely certified. In order to allow for certification, traceability between production stages needs to be improved so that the origin can be verified with the necessary precision. 
  • Increasing interest in fish species that are not traditionally demanded and by reducing the impact of fishing on species with low stock status. 
  • Aquatic environments in Sweden offer conditions for different types of aquaculture with a wide coastline and many lakes and watercourses. In addition, in northern Sweden there are surpluses of green electricity through hydropower. 
  • Increasing the competitiveness, profitability and food production of the food supply chain. 
  • Increasing research and development in alternative feed materials to reduce environmental impact and improve sustainability.

MNSP to develop sustainable aquaculture

Published National Strategic Plan on Aquaculture: Swedish Multiannual Strategic Plan for Aquaculture

Summary in English of the "Published National Strategic Plan on Aquaculture": Multiannual national strategic plan for aquaculture in Sweden 2021-2030

Applicable Procedures

Check list how to start an aquaculture activity (Checklista Vattenbruk -

Other Relevant Documents

Relevant Websites

Contact Details

Name and surname: Izabela Alias 

Position held and name of the organisation: Aquaculture Coordinator

Email address:  


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