Fisheries | Compendium Coast and Sea


In 2019, the worldwide production of fisheries products, including aquaculture amounted to 177.9 million tonness (excluding marine mammals and aquatic plants). Sea fishery products took up 112.2 million tonnes of which 71.7% (80.4 million tonnes) accounts for wild catches. In 2019, the fleet of the European Union was responsible for 5.1% of the global fish catches. In the same year, Belgian catches accounted for 0.4% of the European total. The Belgian fishing fleet (number of vessels) accounts for less than 0.1% of the European fleet, with a tonnage and engine capacity of 0.8 and 0.6% of the European total, respectively.

In the ‘Thematic chapter’, an overview is given of the scientific knowledge, socioeconomic data and legal aspects of the user function ‘Fisheries’ for the Belgian part of the North Sea. The international, European, federal and Flemish legislation applicable to this activity is discussed in more detail under ‘Legislation’, while the figures and background data can be consulted in an interactive way through the ‘Coastal portal’. More information about the available expertise regarding fisheries within the Belgian marine research groups and their relevant research infrastructure can be consulted by clicking ‘Research groups’ and ‘Infrastructure’, respectively.