Our figure of the month at New Year's Eve 2019: Carp, trout or eel? Most important is its regional origin!

In many German households, fish will be on the menu on New Year's Eve – whether smoked on the fish platter or as a traditional New Year's carp from the oven. Since food from the region is currently in high demand, it is interesting to take a closer look at the structure of fish production in Germany.

Although a large amount of fish products consumed in Germany are imported, there are also many farms throughout Germany that breed fish in aquacultures in addition to inland fishing.

Aquaculture in Germany is traditionally characterised by classic carp pond management and trout farming. Rainbow trout and common carp are still the most important fish species, followed by salmon trout, Alsatian char and European eel. According to the Federal Statistical Office, there were almost 2,600 aquaculture businesses throughout Germany in 2018, producing around 18,100 tonnes of fish in total, 84% of which are accounted for by the five most important fish species listed below. Apart from the share of fish species in total, the figure below gives an overview where exactly which kind of fish is bred:


Looking at the regional distribution according to the federal states, Bavaria is by far leading the ranking in fish production in aquacultures as it accounts for 29% of the total aquaculture fish production of the five most important species throughout Germany. Bavaria produces a particularly high proportion of carp and rainbow trout, accounting for around 40% of total production of carp and a quarter of rainbow trout respectively. Besides, 43% of Alsatian char is bred in Bavaria. Aquacultures in Baden-Württemberg comprise the second largest fish production amongst the federal states, followed by Lower Saxony and Saxony. The top four federal states together account for about 75% of total fish production of these five species from aquaculture. In Baden-Württemberg, the main species bred are rainbow trout (31% of national production, which is largest share of this kind of fish in a federal state) and Alsatian char (43%). Baden-Württemberg is home to the largest production of rainbow trout in Germany. With around 1 200 tonnes, almost all eel production takes place in Lower Saxon. Salmon trout production is also high in Lower Saxony with a share of 41% of total production in Germany. Saxony stands out with a comparatively large carp production. So is Brandenburg. In North Rhine-Westphalia, Thuringia, Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saxony-Anhalt, fish production in aquacultures mainly concentrate on rainbow trout. In the city-states of Berlin, Hamburg and Bremen, no fish production of this species in aquacultures is registered.

Hence, in Lower Saxony, eel and salmon trout are most likely to be found on the dinner menu on New Year's Eve. Bavarians, Saxons and people from Brandenburg are happy with carp – and those who like to stick to a long-lasting tradition are happy about a carp scale as a lucky charm for the New Year!

Other figures can be found here.

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