Fisheries and aquaculture are an important source of food, employment and revenue in many countries, especially developing countries. Any marine biomass whether fished from natural environment or developed through man made farms in any form i.e. live, chilled, fresh, frozen or cooked is called seafood. These include tuna, mackerel, shrimp, prawns, molluscs, lobsters, crabs and barnacles etc. The global trend in the past decades showed that world marine and inland captured fisheries production increased and then leveled out as the world’s fishing areas have reached their maximum potential with stocks being fully exploited. However, growth in aquaculture has shown the opposite tendency, with increases in production each year.
Global Perspective of Fisheries Industry
Total world exports of marine fisheries over the period 1996-2000 have remained the same. Major exporting countries in the year 2000 include Thailand, which had exports worth $4,336 million and had a share of 9%, China, which was second with 8.41%, Norway, with 8% and Canada with 6.46%.
Total world imports of marine fisheries over the period 1996-2000 have increased by 5%. Major importing countries included Japan with the largest share of 27% and USA with 18%. The developed countries Japan, USA and the countries of European Union together account for 75% of the total imports of internationally traded fishery products.
Fisheries in Pakistan
Pakistan has a total coastline of 1,050 km and a total area of approximately 300,270 sq. km. The fishing grounds are termed as highly rich in marine life with a large number of species that have great commercial value. Pakistan’s consumption of fish is very low, and thus most of the produce is exported. However, there is a great dependence on a few species for exports, with very little value addition. Most of the fish catch is marine which comprises 71% of total fish exports. Pakistan’s exports of marine fisheries have increased by a fractional value of 2%. Pakistan exports mainly to Europe, US, Japan and Middle-Eastern countries. For Pakistan, data is also available for the year 2000-01 which showed that Pakistan’s exports of marine fisheries were $137.8 million. This showed a decline in exports from the year 2000.
Pakistan’s imports of marine fisheries have remained at a negligible level, as Pakistan’s domestic consumption is termed as one of the lowest in the world.
Marine Fisheries includes the following categories which have been explained:
FISH, LIVE/FRESH/CHILLED/FROZEN: Total global exports of this category have increased over the period 1996-2000 by 6%. Major exporting countries include Norway with 14% of total exports, USA with 9.29% of total exports, China with 7% and Chile with 6.4%.
Major importing countries include Japan which had a share of 27.7% in 2000, USA which had a share of 14% and Spain with 6%. Pakistan’s exports of this category in the year 2000 were $41.42 million, which was a 21% increase from 1996-2000.
Fish, Dried/Salted/Smoked: Total global exports of this category have decreased by 11% over the period 1996-2000. Major exporting countries include Norway with 24% of total exports, Iceland with 12% and Denmark with approximately 10% of total exports in the year 2000.
Major importing countries include Hong Kong with 18%, Portugal with 11% and Japan with 10% of total imports in the year 2000. Pakistan’s exports of this category have decreased by 12% over the period 1996-2000 to $ 11.57 million. Pakistan did not have any imports in this category in the year 2000.
Crustaceans Molluscs Etc: Molluscs are marine invertebrates of the phylum Mollusca, typically having a soft unsegmented body, a mantle, and a protective calcareous shell. They include edible shellfish and the snails. Crustaceans are any of the various predominantly aquatic arthropods of the class Crustacea, including lobsters, crabs, shrimps, and barnacles, characteristically having a segmented body, a chitinous exoskeleton, and paired, jointed limbs.
Total global exports of this category have decreased by 7% during the period 1996-2000. Major exporting countries in the year 2000 include Thailand with approx. 14%, Canada with 10% and Indonesia with 8% and China with a share of 6%. Total global imports of this category have increased by 9.4% during 1996-2000. Major importing countries in this category include Japan with the largest share of 30%, USA with 26% and Spain with 8% in the year 2000. Pakistan’s exports of this category were $91.48 million in the year 2000. There was a decrease of 3.9% over the period 1996-2000. Pakistan did not have any imports in this category in the year 2000.
FISH/SHELLFISH, PREPARATION/PRESERVATION: Total global exports of this category have increased by 3.4%. In line with the global trend, exports tend to remain at a stable level. Major exporting countries include Thailand with a share of 23%, China with a share of 15% and Canada with 4.5% in the year 2000.
Major importing countries in the year 2000 include Japan with 26%, USA with 19% and UK with 7.5%. Pakistan’s exports were $5.139 million in the year 2000 and there was an increase of 10% over the period 1996-2000. Pakistan did not have any imports in this category in the year 2000.
If you’re looking for a guide to start a fish farm in Pakistan, please visit Requirements for Starting Fish Farm in Pakistan.