Fish is a highly nutritious food, rich in protein, vitamins and minerals, with some species providing an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids. The health benefits of fish are various including maintenance of energy levels or prevention of diseases (FAO).
There is no doubt that we Europeans love these nutritious delicacies on our plates! From North to South, West to East, we find many traditional recipes with fish or shellfish as the star ingredient. The highest annual per capita fish consumption can be found in Iceland, followed by Portugal.
But let’s not forget that Norwegians love their salmon! Between 2013 and 2016 the per capita consumption of fish and fish products was 22,5 kg approximately.
And also, where would Belgium be without the ‘moules et frites’? Mussels are also very popular in Spain which is the largest producer of mussels in Europe with over 200 000 tonnes per year, followed by France with a production of around 80 000 tonnes (FAO).
Even Montenegro, the country with the lowest percentage of fish consumption per capita, has a traditional fish recipe, the ‘Kotor fish stew’.
This valuable protein source is linked to European culture as much as languages, traditional activities or natural habitats. Many coastal citizens couldn’t contemplate not spending quality time with others around a table with local fish and aquaculture products.
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The data displayed in this map has been provided by Eurostat: