Aquaculture and fish farming

Aquaculture is an umbrella term for industries that focus on the cultivation of aquatic animals and plants. Cultivation takes place both for consumption and for release.

Swedish aquaculture produces various products. They can be broken down according to the type of production and purpose:

  • production for consumption;
  • production for sowing or further breeding;
  • production for industrial products, fertiliser or fuel;
  • cultivation with the aim of improving the aquatic environment.

Aquaculture requires a permit

The farming of fish, mussels, oysters and crayfish always requires a permit under the fisheries legislation.

For fish farming, you may also need to make a notification or an application for a permit under the Environmental Code, depending on the size of the farm.

About permits on the website Svenskt vattenbruk (Swedish aquaculture) External link.

The e-services and forms of the County Administrative Board (Länsstyrelsen) in this field are not available in English. If you wish to submit an application or notification, you may contact the county administrative board, which can inform you how to proceed.

Aquaculture in Sweden

Most of what is produced in Sweden is used as food. Today, rainbow trout and blue mussels account for the largest share of production. Traditional box farming is the most common technique for farming fish for food. Food fish farms are spread throughout the country and can be found in both coastal and inland areas.

For food fish farming, recirculating systems have become part of the development of an environmentally sustainable Swedish aquaculture. Among other things, this farming technique means:

  • that it is possible to grow species that are more dependent on warm water;
  • a reduction in nutrients that can leach into the surrounding aquatic environment;
  • a reduced risk of disease spread;
  • a reduced risk of escapees.

A part of the Swedish production consists of hatching and producing fry that can then be sold on. The fry provide food fish farmers with breeding material, enhance natural fish stocks or increase fishability in sport and commercial fisheries. This type of production does not produce many tonnes, but is an important part of the aquaculture industry.