Through the mouth the fish dies
Portugal, the most western country in Europe, is the biggest fisherman in the Northwest Atlantic zone. Even so, in this zone, Spain almost keeps up with the Portuguese numbers. The Iberian countries represent about 80% of the fish caught in the Northwest Atlantic.
About 70% of the European Union's catches take place in the northeast Atlantic Ocean. This is the main fishing area, dominated by the Nordic giants: Norway, Iceland and Denmark. Spain, in addition to being the second highest catching country in the Northwest Atlantic, manages to remain competitive among European sharks in the Northeast Atlantic fishery.
It is in this zone that a large part of Portugal's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is located, the third largest in the European Union, with about 1,727,408 km2. Of this area, another 953,000 km2 relate to the EEZ of the Azores.
And speaking of Spain: it is in the Central-East Atlantic that the Spaniards appear to lead in the number of catches. In this zone, Lithuania appears ahead of France and the Netherlands.
In the Mediterranean and Black Sea, it is the southern countries that lead the catches, with Italy leading the way, followed by Greece and Spain. This is the area of excellence of Italian fishing.
According to Eurostat data, not many countries are interested in fishing in the Southwest Atlantic zone. This is an area that is practically exclusive to Spain. Apart from the Spanish, only Portugal and the United Kingdom have recorded catches there, but to a practically residual extent.
According to the data, catches in the Southeast Atlantic are almost residual - at least those recorded - when compared to other fishing areas. But still, once again it is Spain that controls - almost exclusively - the catches in this area.
In 2019, the European Union was responsible for catching four million tons of fish. 70% of the catches took place in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean, where mainly small species such as herring (Clupea harengus) are caught. In total, Spain represents 20.6% of the fish caught in the Union, followed by Denmark (15.3%) and France (12.9%). Portugal continues to be the European Union country that consumes the most products derived from fishing or aquaculture.