FACT SHEET: The international fish trade and world fisheries
United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
THE GLOBAL FISH TRADE*
A large share of all fish production enters international marketing
channels, with 37% (live weight equivalent) being exported in 2006.
Value of exports In 2006, total world exports of fish and fish products reached a record
value of US$85.9 billion, a 55% increase from 2000.
Value of imports Fish imports rose 49% from 2000 to 2006, reaching a new record of over
US$89.6 billion. Developed countries accounted for about 80% of
imports, in value terms.
Top exporters China (exports valued at US$9
Norway (US$5.5 billion)
Thailand (US$5.2 billion)
USA (US$4.1 billion)
Denmark (US$4 billion)
Canada (US$3.7 billion)
Chile (US$3.6 billion)
Viet Nam (US$3.4 billion)
Spain (US$2.8 billion)
Netherlands (US$2.8 billion).
Top importers Japan (US$14.0 billion worth of
USA (US$13.3 billion)
Spain (US$6.4 billion)
France (US$5.1 billion)
Italy (US$4.7 billion)
China (US$4.1 billion)
Germany (US$3.7 billion).
United Kingdom (US$3.7 billion)
Denmark (US$2.8 billion)
Korea Republic (US$2.7 billion).
Top commodities Shrimp continues to be the most important commodity traded in value
terms, accounting for 16.6% of the total value of internationally traded
fish products in 2006. The other main groups of exported species were
groundfish (10.5%: e.g. hake, cod, haddock and Alaska pollock),
salmon (10.7%) and tuna (7.7%). In 2006, fishmeal represented around
3.5% of the value of exports and fish oil less than 1%.
global fish trade
The share of developing countries in total fishery exports was 49% by
value and 59% by quantity in 2006. The net exports of fish by developing
countries (i.e. the total value of their exports less the total value of their
imports) has shown a continuing rising trend over recent decades,
growing from US$7.2 billion in 1986 to US$16.7 in 1996 to US$24.6
billion in 2006. These figures were significantly higher than those for
other agricultural commodities such as rice, coffee and tea.
Employment In 2006, 43.5 million people directly engaged in primary production of
fish, either in capture fishery or in aquaculture.
*All figures for 2006
EUROPE & GERMANY
THE FISH TRADE & EUROPE
In 2006, European country imports of fish and fishery products reached
US$41.3 billion. The 27 European community countries (EC-27) continued
to expand their dependency on imports for their fish supply. The value of
these imports reached US$37.5 billion in 2006 (+85% since 2000 and
+14% since 2005). Yet 45% of these imports had an intra-EU-27 origin.
In 2006, in value terms, salmon was the main species imported by
European countries (14% of total imports of fish and fishery products)
followed by shrimps and prawns (13%). Other favoured species were cod
(10%), tuna (7%), cephalopods (5%) and freshwater fish (4%).
Top exporters to
In 2006, in value terms, 59% of the European imports of fish and fishery
products originated from other European countries. Major suppliers were
Norway (11%), Denmark (7%), Spain (6%), the Netherlands (5%) and
China (4%). Other leading non-European suppliers were the USA (3%),
Morocco (3%), Argentina (2%) , Viet Nam (2%) and Chile (1%).
In 2006, EU-27 exports of fish products were valued at US$21.6 billion,
representing a growth of 83% since 2000. About 85% were destined to
other EU-27 countries. (The increase of EU-27 imports and exports is also
due to the appreciation of European currencies against the US dollar.)
In 2006, in value terms, salmon was also the main species exported (19%
of the value of all EC-27 exports of fish and fishery products. Salmon was
mainly exported in fresh or chilled form. Other top species exported were
cod (12%), shrimps (8%), tunas (5%), herrings (4%) and mackerel (3%).
In 2006, 86% of the value of EC-27 exports was directed to other
European countries. France was the main market ( 12% of exports), then
Italy (11%), Germany (9%), Spain (8%) and the UK (8%). Major non-
European markets were Japan (3%), China (2%) and Nigeria (1%).
THE FISH TRADE & GERMANY
Trade flows Germany, with imports valued at US$3.7 billion, was the world’s seventh
largest importer of fish and fish products and the fifteenth exporter
(US$1.8 billion in 2006).
In 2006, in value terms, main suppliers to Germany were Denmark, the
Netherlands, China, Poland, Norway, Peru, Chile, Russian Federation
and Thailand. 46% of German fishery imports originated from the EU-27 .
German exports In 2006, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Italy, UK, Denmark and
Belgium represented the main outlets for German exports of fish, in value
terms. 88% of its exports were directed to EU-27 countries.
Top commodities Marine fish including salmons, cods, herrings, tunas are the most
important commodity traded in Germany. In 2006, salmon made up 22.9%
of the total value of traded fish products, followed by cods (including hake,
cods, haddock and Alaska Pollack) at 19.8%, and shrimp (7.4%).
Consumption In 2005, German per caput fish consumption was 14.8/kg, with fish
representing a share of 7.8% in animal proteins and 4.7% in total proteins.
On average, per capita fish consumption in the EU-27 is of about 22/kg,
with fish having a share of about 10% of total animal proteins and 6% of
total proteins. World-wide, per capita consumption is estimated at 16.5/kg,
with fish accounting for 15.5% of animal proteins and 5.9% of all proteins.
FISHERIES & AQUACULTURE PRODUCTION
Global production Total global fishery production from capture fisheries and aquaculture
combined reached 144 million tonnes in 2006, with 36% of that coming
from aquaculture. With aquaculture excluded, world global capture
fisheries production in 2006 was 92 million tonnes.
During the 1997-2006 period, total catches by the EU-27 countries
decreased by 26%, from 7.6 to 5.7 million tonnes. Poland, Denmark and
Greece are the countries which most reduced most their catches in the
last decade. These figures include catches in inland waters and from
distant water fleets.
The ranking of top ten capture fishery producing countries has been quite
stable since 1992, with China, Peru and the United States occupying
the top three positions since 2001.
The main capture-fisheries countries among the EU-27 are Spain,
Denmark, the United Kingdom and France, all producing over
0.5 million tonnes in 2006. Germany, with almost 0.3 million tonnes,
ranked seventh among the EU countries
worldwide & in
The most caught species at the global level is by far the Peruvian
anchoveta (7 million tonnes in 2006). It is followed by Alaska pollock,
skipjack tuna, Atlantic herring and blue whiting. Atlantic herring is
the most caught species by the EU-27 countries, followed by European
sprat, blue whiting and Atlantic mackerel.
The top species in German catches in 2006 were Atlantic herring,
European sprat and blue whiting.
China is by far the leading aquaculture producer, accounting for about
two thirds of world aquaculture production. The other major aquaculture
producing countries are India, Viet Nam, Thailand, and Indonesia. The
EU-27 account for 2.5% of world aquaculture production (1.3 million
tonnes in 2006).
Main aquaculture producing countries in 2006 among the EU-27 were
Spain, France, Italy, the United Kingdom and Greece. Germany, with
35 thousands tonnes, ranked tenth among the EU countries
Various carps are the major species group cultured, accounting for 40%
of production in weight, followed by other fresh water fishes and oysters.
Whiteleg shrimp and Atlantic salmon are two major cultured species in
value followed by silver carp, Grass carp, and Giant tiger prawn. Sea
mussel is the species most widely cultured by the EU-27 countries,
followed by rainbow trout, blue mussel, and Atlantic salmon.
Top species in 2006 German aquaculture production were rainbow
trout, common carp and blue mussel.