MRAG Europe, as lead partner of a consortium, has been contracted by CINEA within the European Commission to provide a technical background on the functioning of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) in respect to issues related to climate change. This work is part of a larger Framework Contract CINEA/EMFF/2018/011 - Lot 2: "Scientific advice in support of the CFP in the Atlantic EU Western waters and the EU Outermost Regions” which will feed into a European Commission report published by 31 December 2022.
Ongoing and undeniable climate change poses major challenges to the global fishing industry in almost all climate zones of the world. These challenges affect both the fisheries and aquaculture sectors, as well as the downstream processing and marketing of seafood products – the postharvest sector. This sector spans from the first sale and/or auction, to transport, processing, distribution/retailers, to the final consumers, and comprises a large number of actors and activities all with specific characteristics, traditions and needs.
The European "Green Deal" sets the framework conditions for all sectors to play a role in achieving climate-neutrality. The transition of the postharvest sector will ensure and promote the medium and long-term existence of this sector in the EU. It will be necessary for the postharvest sector to engage in a permanent process of coordination with science and politics in order to respond to such changes in conditions and secure their own future.

The purpose of this contract is to provide the Commission with insight towards issues related to markets, processing and climate change. This study focuses on the value chain of postharvest activities within fisheries and aquaculture, including frozen products (but excluding on-board processing). It acknowledges that sectors within the value chain do not solely rely on marine products, adding complexity to studying the resilience of sectors to impacts of climate change. The three objectives of this project are to:

  •  Describe the European postharvest value chain, its activities for fisheries and aquaculture products (including processing, marketing, distribution and retail), identify availability of data for the activities in each chain segment and their relevance in an assessment of physical and financial resilience to climate change;
  • Review historic events impacting the value chain of similar sectors as the fisheries and aquaculture value chains and identify how resilience was affected under those circumstances. Identify potential lessons to be learned for the EU postharvest value chain on resilience and resource efficiency;
  • Assess future possible contributions of the fisheries and aquaculture postharvest sector to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.