A recent market report has indicated the sales of fresh fish and seafood in Western Europe are falling. Western Europe is now the worst performing region in the world for the sale of fish, having decreased on average 1% every year between 2011 and 2016.
Euromonitor analyst, Anastasia Alieva, believes that there is a problem with pricing and availability of these products for many consumers.
‘The Growing focus on general health and well-being, and healthier diets in Western Europe has not translated into greater demand for fish and seafood, which are broadly recognised as a valuable source of the omega-3 fatty acids essential for healthy brain and cardiovascular function.’ says Alieva.
However, there may be other factors influencing consumer habits also. Many people have concerns about the levels of mercury and other toxins found in fish and the effect that they have on the body.
In addition to this, information regarding unsustainably fishing practices is becoming more easily accessible which may be discouraging people from buying fish. It’s predicted that we could see fishless oceans as early as 2048, and 75% of the fisheries in the world are either exploited or depleted.
Many people are choosing to opt for plant based diets in order to eat more sustainably, healthily and ethically. Thankfully for fish lovers, the availability of fish alternatives has increased rapidly over the past year with Whole Foods even offering vegan tuna sushi rolls, which have proved very popular.
These figures may indicate a future in which Europe is consuming less fish, and hopefully avoiding the possibility of oceans without fish in 2048.