The Aquaculture Sector is currently the most dynamically growing animal food production industry. The average annual growth rate since 1970 is 8.8%, when for collective fisheries the corresponding average growth rate is only 1.2%, while for livestock and poultry farming it is 2.8%.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Bank forecasts, by 2030 more than 65% of fisheries products will come from aquaculture. It is noted that, according to the World Bank, the annual per capita consumption of fish was around 19 kg thanks to aquaculture products. However, that annual per capita consumption varies according to the economic growth of each region from 7 kg in developing countries to 28 kg in the most developed ones.
Regarding employment, aquaculture is a productive activity with significant socio-economic implications, supporting the economic and social cohesion of entire regions, particularly in Asia. According to FAO, aquaculture employs directly 19 million people worldwide. It is worth noting that 95% of jobs in aquaculture are in Asia and the remaining 5% in Latin America & the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, North America and Oceania.
The increase in production is the general trend prevailing in all continents with the sole exception of Oceania. However, the unequal distribution of activity remains, as 92% of world production (97.56 million tonnes) is produced in the Asian countries, with China, Indonesia and India at the top of the world ranking.
The European Union produces 2.8% of the world production (2.98 million tons) with an almost stable output since 2000 and a spectacular increase in imports from third countries of competitive low-cost products. Indicatively, 68% of seafood consumption is imported and only 10% comes from aquaculture.
In Greece, according to the latest available data, 63% of seafood harvested comes from aquaculture and the remaining 37% comes from wild catches.
The Aquaculture industry in Greece is export oriented as approximately 78 % of the production is sold overseas while the remaining 22% is sold in the domestic market. According to the National Statistics Agency (ELSTAT), in 2016 Greek sea bream and sea bass were exported to 32 countries globally. By far the largest market for Greek products is the EU as more than 90% of fish products are sold there and a small percentage is exported to North America and other countries.
Concerning the international environment, third-country competition is still growing, particularly from Turkey, which is constantly increasing its production. As a result, in 2016 Greek producers witness the biggest difference in the selling price between Greek and Turkish products, especially in sea bream.
It is important to have an organized and open -at the same time- institutionalized process of exchange views and experiences within and outside Greece. Dialogue and concrete conclusions to be drawn, making proposals and creating the momentum needed by the fast-growing sector in the public domain. Something that will effectively enhance the promotions’ demands and the overall position of the industry.
The conference will take place under the auspices of the HE the President of the Hellenic Republic Mr. Prokopios Pavlopoulos and the International Institution General Fisheries Commission for Mediterranean.
• Federations of Greek Maricultures, Annual Report – Aquaculture in Greece 2017
• Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 2016. The state of world fisheries and aquaculture
• European Union (EU), 2016. Trade Fair of Aquaculture Products Produced in Greece