The development of Danish aquaculture started in the middle of the 1950s with fish farms established along Danish river systems. The development continued up through the 1960s where the number of fish farms peaked with 6-700 farms. The subsequent need for making the production more effective, along with increased environmental requirements posed on the industry, resulted in a decrease of the number of fish farms to approximately 300, which exist today. Danish fish farms produce mainly rainbow trout, although, there is a niche production of other trout species mainly produced for stock enhancement purposes. The annual trout production in freshwater is 25-30,000 tons.
During the 1980s, a further development occurred with the establishment of marine fish farms as well as fish production in closed rearing systems with recirculation of the water combined with water treatment facilities. The number of marine fish farms is approximately 30 with an annual production of ca. 10,000 tons of large rainbow trout. In addition, there is an annual production of ca. 2,000 tons of eel in 10 recirculation facilities. Besides, a niche production of e.g. turbot, cod, pikeperch and perch takes place, so far, under experimental conditions.
Within the last ten years, a number of marine aquaculture facilities producing mussels on ropes in a water column in contrast to natural production on the sea bed. At the moment, there exist 50 plants with a total production of 1-1,500 tons of mussels annually.
Since 2002, a commercial utilisation of the natural stock of European flat oyster in The Limfjord has been allowed. The annual catch is 1-2.000 tons. During the same period, experiments have been conducted in order to establish the basis for a commercial aquaculture production of European flat oyster in the area. In order to preserve the Limfjord's unique stock of European flat oyster, a disease surveillance program was established in 2000.
In 2006, Council Directive 2006/88/EC on animal health requirements for aquaculture animals and production thereof and on the prevention and control of certain diseases in aquatic animals was adopted. In the Directive, all rules on prevention and eradication of certain diseases in aquatic organisms as well as rules for marketing and intra-Community trade have been compiled. The Directive was implemented in Danish legislation as of 1 August 2008.
Council Directive 2006/88/EC