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1,574 metric tons of aquaculture products were produced in 2020. This is a share of only about 1.2 % of the total aquaculture production of the country (130,792 metric tons, Eurostat); well below EU average for aquaculture (8.9%) and below the share of organic farmland in Greece in 2020 (10.1%). Sea bass and sea bream are the species with highest production shares. Eleven aquaculture producers were counted in total (Eurostat 2020).


Organic aquaculture seems rather in a stage of stagnation when looking at the developments of the last decade, which follows no straightforward pattern of growth or decrease. Those dynamics are hard to relate to clearly identifiable key events in policy, markets or society. The few increases identified for 2014, 2016 and 2017 may link to changes in EU regulation relevant for organic aquaculture, such as the Implementation Regulation No 1030/2013 on the prorogation of nationally accepted organic rules from 2013 or No 1358/2014 with amendments on aquaculture juveniles, stocking density and husbandry practices, feed products and dietary needs in 2014, both tied to Regulation (EC) 889/2008.

The obstacles in Greece are the complexity of the bureaucracy in organic aquaculture rules, regulation, and certification scheme costs and the unavailability of incentives, the price difference between organic and conventional aquaculture products and the demand, unavailability of organic fish feeds and juveniles. The supporting factors are consumer attitude and beliefs and the research on the technical solutions and innovations in organic aquaculture. 

It is advantageous that the aquaculture sector in Greece is small, because it eases effective collaboration and communication between actors as the basis for sector development. However, it is also too small and the costs for organic production, especially the certification, are too high. Moreover, the incentives for conversion are insufficient and the support provided inconsistent (and partly unknown) to farmers. Adding to the situation, is the unavailability of inputs (esp. fish feed and juveniles) and high level of bureaucracy. The significant price difference between the organic and conventional aquaculture products impacts on the consumer demand and willingness to buy as the most important constraining factor in Greece, as to effectively attract and promote consumer-interest. Although consumer attitude and beliefs are supportive factors in Greece, consumers are only insufficiently informed about organic aquaculture production. Accessibility to communication and marketing and respective marketing strategies for organic products are considered crucial to enhance public awareness regarding organic farming practices and to develop organic aquaculture in Greece. Due to the low scale of organic aquaculture production, the market is very susceptible to crisis. The decreasing purchase power (due to the COVID-19 pandemic and energy crisis) consumer demand may be negatively impacted, considering that organic products are typically more costly than conventional ones.  In terms of overcoming the pertaining technical constraints in production, innovations in organic aquaculture is seen as a key supportive factor.

Knowledge and innovation systems in Greece within aquaculture

Research and knowledge transfer for organic aquaculture are well-supported, though very few actors and institutions provide advisory services. More research and innovation are needed together with an effective knowledge exchange to allow key actors to acquire the competencies for further development of the sector (Multi-annual National Strategic Plan for Aquaculture Development, 2021-2030) (European Commission, 2023). Many initiatives remain isolated and not fully effective if there are no clear national targets at policy level and infrastructure that should support the knowledge and innovation system. Many initiatives remain isolated and not fully effective if there are no clear national targets at policy level and infrastructure that should support the knowledge and innovation system.