Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) is the most cultivated fish species in Europe. Europe produces 52% of the world farmed salmon of which 33% is produced in Norway, the main producer of salmon in the world with Scotland third largest producer (150,000 tons in 2010). Salmon aquaculture production grew > 10-fold during the 25 years from 1982 to 2007 and is an important socio-economic industry for remote communities in Norway and the UK.
The production of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) has grown exponentially since its introduction in the 1950s in Europe. Worldwide production of rainbow trout was 537,000 tonnes (t) in 2005, with Europe being the largest producer with 273,000 t. Freshwater production is most common in Europe, while saltwater production is mainly carried out in Norway, Finland and Denmark. The species is well domesticated and has a high potential for future expansion of the production.
Common carp (Cyprinus carpio) is worldwide the most cultured fish species for food consumption (FAO, 2009). Koi (Cyprinus carpio koi) are ornamental varieties of common carp kept for decorative purposes as pet animals; individual fish may exceed €100.000 in value making koi carp the most expensive fish in the world. Aquaculture of carp and large-scale transport of live koi for exhibition shows, often without health certification, has contributed to the rapid, worldwide spreading of deadly (viral) diseases.
European sea bass and gilthead seabream
The European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) and gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata) are the most important farmed marine species in south Europe, with a combined production of about 253,000 ton (FAO, 2009). Although the production of sea bass has increased continuously (130,000 t in 2008), a big threat to sea bass farming is its sensitivity to viral nervous necrosis, a serious disease induced by different viral agents belonging to the Nodaviridae family.
Europe is the main world producer of turbot (Scophthalmus maximus). This valuable species is mainly cultured in Spain (world leader of adult turbot production), France and Portugal but also in Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Norway and Wales. European production has now stabilised around 5,000 t per year.