Europe’s fishiest people

Who are Europe’s biggest consumers of seafood?

Is it Brits, with their staple dish of deep-fried fish and chips? Russians, with their love of caviar?

Actually, it’s Norwegians, who consume on average 66.6kg of fish every year, according to the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. This places them almost top of world seafood consumption, second only to South Koreans, who were found to eat 78.5kg.

The Portuguese place a close third, reportedly eating 61.5kg, while Myanmar and Malaysia complete the world’s top five fish lovers.

The study is the first of its kind, the JRC said, and wasn’t conducted out of simple curiosity. Global seafood consumption, which stands at 22.3kg per head, has more than doubled in the past 50 years, it found. This is making the sustainability of fish stock an “ever more pressing issue”, it warned.

With many European countries importing much of the seafood they consume, they need to be conscious not only of the sustainability of their own fishing practices, but also those of their trading partners, the research centre said.

“Stocks may be renewable, but they are finite,” it stressed.

Words: Craig Nicholson

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