OECD Review of Fisheries: Policies and Summary Statistics

2225-4323 (online)
2225-4315 (print)
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OECD’s annual analytical report on the Fisheries industry in OECD countries. It describes major developments affecting fisheries in OECD countries, including changes in government policies, trade, and fisheries and aquaculture production. Summary statistics are included for each country. Also see the companion series: OECD Review of Fisheries: Country Statistics

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12 Oct 2015
9789264240223 (PDF) ;9789264240162(print)

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The OECD Review of Fisheries provides information on developments in policies and activities in the fishing and aquaculture sectors of OECD countries and participating economies, mainly for the period 2012-13. This year’s edition includes Argentina, the People's Republic of China, Chinese Taipei, Indonesia and Latvia.

Part I overviews the activities in the sector and includes a chapter containing two-page snapshots outlining country summary statistics and key developments in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors. Additional country-level data and detail on institutional and policy backgrounds, based on contributions by participating countries and economies, are provided in the electronic version of this report.

Also available in French
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  • Foreword

    This edition of the OECD Review of Fisheries provides updated statistics and information on developments in policies and activities in the fishing and aquaculture sectors of OECD countries and partner economies. It covers mainly the time period 2012-13 but reports on more recent developments as well, notably changes to the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) of the European Union, the rising importance of the concept of ocean governance, and the evolution of trade agreements and regional fisheries management organisations.

  • Acronyms
  • Executive Summary

    There has been a continued decline in OECD fisheries production and rebuilding stocks remains a key challenge for fisheries management Global marine capture production peaked in the 1996 and has been relatively flat or declining since that time. For OECD countries, the decline is more pronounced, with a reduction in landings of 39% since the peak in 1988. The share of OECD countries in the total world catch has decreased, from around 40% of total world catches in the late 1980s to 30% today.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts General survey of fisheries policies

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    • Recent trends in OECD fisheries and aquaculture

      This chapter describes trends in capture fisheries and aquaculture production, trade, fleet development, employment and government financial transfers, providing a snapshot of key developments. The data show the dominance of South East Asian countries in fisheries and aquaculture production and trade, and the continuation of the long-term decline in importance of OECD fisheries production. Aquaculture production will continue to be the source of growth in fish products worldwide.

    • Fishery policy developments in OECD countries

      This chapter offers an overview of policy developments in OECD countries as well as the activities of the OECD Committee for Fisheries (COFI). Many OECD countiers and partner economies are undertaking important structural and policy reform in their fisheries sector, and new governance structures and management instruments are being put in place. In particular, the recent reforms of the EU Common Fisheries Policy will bring significant changes in fisheries management in the EU.

    • International developments in fisheries policy

      This chapter describes recent developments in some important global fisheries producers and looks at international developments in fisheries policy. There is a continued emphasis on improving the sustainability of capture fisheries and on promoting the continued rapid growth of the aquaculture sector in many countries. Trade negotiations continue to expand, with many agreements being signed or completed in the past two years. Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs) continued working towards improved effectiveness, in particular for curbing illegal, unreported or unregulated fishing.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts OECD and non-OECD economy profiles

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    • OECD and non-OECD economy snapshots

      This chapter provides summary descriptions of recent developments in OECD countries and partner economies.

    • Argentina

      In 2013 exports of fish products reached an all-time high, recovering strongly from the decline observed in 2012. As usual, the performance of the shrimp and squid fisheries strongly determines the overall value of exports. Low export prices (except for shrimp) and high costs have put pressure on the fishing sector. The global financial crisis is still affecting traditional export markets and new markets are demanding products at lower prices.

    • Australia

      In 2011-12 the gross value of Australian fisheries production increased 3% to AUD 2.3 billion (USD 2.3 billion) mainly thanks to increase of aquaculture production by AUD 100 million to AUD 1.1 billion which account for 46% of the total Australian fisheries production. In volume terms, Australian fisheries production increased slightly, by 476 tonnes to 237 540 tonnes. The volume of aquaculture production increased by 10% from 75 188 to 84 605 tonnes, accounting for 36% of total Australian fisheries production while that of capture fisheries declined by 4% to 157 505 tonnes.

    • Belgium

      In 2013 the Belgian fleet consisted of 80 vessels with a total capacity of 46.525 kW (sq) and 14.645 GT. The situation of the Belgian sea fisheries fleet changed significantly during the year 2009 due to a vessel scrapping program organised by the government.

    • Canada

      The Fisheries Act, Canada’s primary statute for the conservation of fish and fish habitat and the management of fisheries resources, was amended in 2012. The amendments focus the Act’s regulatory regime for the protection of fish and fish habitat on managing threats to the sustainability and ongoing productivity of Canada’s commercial, recreational and Aboriginal fisheries. They also provide enhanced compliance and protection tools; provide for clarity, certainty and consistency of regulatory requirements through the use of standards and regulations; and enable partnerships with agencies and organisations best placed to provide fisheries protection services.

    • Chile

      The General Law of Fisheries and Aquaculture was reformed in 2013. Its main objective is the sustainability of the fisheries, with express reference to the ecosystem approach and the precautionary principle. The Law includes definitions of Biological Reference Points and Maximum Sustainable Yield, a decision making process based on scientific advice, a mandate to elaborate management plans for closed access fisheries and rebuilding plans for overexploited and depleted fisheries.

    • China

      Fisheries output showed a slight increase both in capture fisheries and aquaculture in 2012, with aquaculture representing around 73% of the total volume. The growth rate of aquaculture in The People’s Republic of China (hereafter "China") in 2012 was 6.4%, an impressive amount but still below world average of 7.5%. China remains the largest aquaculture producer in the world. The growth rate of capture fisheries by comparison was 2.5%.

    • Chinese Taipei

      To help improve the sustainability of the fishery, the total number of large-scale tuna longliners larger than 100GRTs has been reduced from 614 to 418 by 2013. To protect sharks, Chinese Taipei promulgated the "Regulations on the Disposal of the Fins of the Shark Catches of Fishing vessels" and the "Regulations on the Imports of Shark Fins" in 2012.

    • Czech Republic

      In the Czech Republic, financial support provided by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) will focus on the further development of a competitive and environmentally friendly fish farming sector.

    • Denmark

      During 2014 Denmark expects to submit fisheries management measures for the protection of reef structures in 10 Natura 2000 sites in Kattegat and the Western Baltic Sea to the European Commission. These measures are to be discussed with relevant member states having a direct management interest in the areas before being submitted to the EU Commission as Joint Recommendations in accordance with the new basic regulation under the Common Fisheries Policy.

    • Estonia

      The main goal as stated in the Estonian Fisheries Strategy 2014-20 is to develop Estonian fisheries as sustainable branch of economy by raising the competitiveness of fisheries products in internal and external markets.

    • France

      Responsibility for management of fisheries and aquaculture has been transferred from the Ministry for Agriculture and Fisheries to that for Ecology, sustainable development and energy since 2012.

    • Germany

      Since 2012, Germany's fishing fleet has decreased by approximately 50 fishing vessels most of which were from small-scale coastal fisheries. The capacity and the number of vessels have by and large remained constant in the high sea fisheries sector and in respect of large cutters with a length of 18+ metres.

    • Greece

      In August 2012, administration of the fishery sector was transferred back to the Ministry of Rural Development and Food.

    • Iceland

      The present Icelandic management system is built on individual transferrable quotas (ITQ) issued to vessels. The Minister for Fisheries receives advice from the Marine Research Institute (MRI) and consequently issues total allowable catch (TAC) for individual stocks for the fishing year, which runs from 1 September to 31 August the following year. The size of each vessels annual catch quota for each stock is its share in the stock multiplied by the TAC of that stock. Both the permanent quota-shares and the annual catch quotas are transferable in part or total, subject to certain restrictions.

    • Indonesia

      According to The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture - FAO 2014, Indonesia is the second largest producer of marine capture fisheries and the second largest producer of aquaculture, and has the second highest number of fishers and aquaculture farmers.

    • Ireland

      In 2011, landings of fish by Irish registered vessels totalled 202 819 tonnes with a total value of EUR 265.7 million. In 2012 the total volume was 273 861 tonnes with a corresponding value of EUR 262.3 million.

    • Japan

      Fisheries management in Japan has been stable in recent years. The TAC system established in 1996 and the TAE (Total Allowable Effort) system in 2003 are the main tools for Japanese output controls.

    • Korea

      In 2012, the general trends of increasing aquaculture and decreasing coastal capture fisheries continued. Increases in aquaculture were driven by seaweed farming such as laver and kelp. Distant water fisheries was the only sector that recorded strong growth. Trade value and volume rose slightly.

    • Latvia

      The Fisheries Law was amended to modify coastal fisheries management by defining all coastal quotas as a percentage of the Latvian total quota for the main regulated species in the Baltic Sea as well as allowing within the year for unused quota to be transferred from coastal to offshore fisheries. Other changes include a ban on gillnets in subsistence fisheries in public inland waters, introduction of some limits on fishing in inland waters, and a measure to combat IUU fishing that introduces new competencies to supervise Latvian nationals on vessels flagged outside Latvia.

    • Mexico

      Mexican fisheries encompass a number of activities in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, and its extensive brackish and fresh water bodies. It includes capture, culture, transformation and commercialisation activities. Fisheries are very important to the national economy and a vital source of nutrition for Mexicans. It is also an important source of foreign currency. At the community level, fisheries activities provide essential income for certain parts of the population and are a driving force for regional economic development.

    • Netherlands

      In 2013 the responsibility for managing capture fisheries and aquaculture switched from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation to the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

    • New Zealand

      New Zealand focuses on exports of fisheries products mainly from deep water fishing. The marine harvest is around 600 000 tonnes in volume and approximately NZD 1.5 billion (USD 1.25 billion) per annum in value. The aquaculture industry contributes about NZD 300 million (USD 250 million) per annum. The fisheries industry is the country’s fourth or fifth largest exporting sector.

    • Norway

      In 2013, landings of fish by Norwegian registered vessels totalled 2.1 million tonnes, with a total first-hand value of NOK 12.5 billion. This implies a decrease in catch from the 2012-level of 60 000 tonnes, and a decrease in value of NOK 1.7 billion.

    • Poland

      Harvest, consumption, imports and exports all increased between 2012 and 2013, both in quantity and value terms. This indicates that a broad-based expansion is taking place in the fishing sector.

    • Portugal

      The Ministry for Agriculture, the Sea, the Environment and Spatial Planning (MAMAOT) was replaced with the Ministry for Agriculture and the Sea (MAM). A General Direction for Natural Resources, Security and Maritime Services, a General Direction for Sea Policies, a Portuguese Agency for the Environment and an Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests were also created.

    • Slovak Republic

      The fisheries sector in the Slovak Republic consists of aquaculture and fish processing. There is little commercial marine and inland capture fishery.

    • Spain

      The central government has sole jurisdiction over sea fishing and therefore establishes legislation on sea fishing in exterior waters. "Basic legislation" on management of fisheries and on management of the commercial activity is also established by the central government; this implies that Autonomous Communities can adopt provisions that complement legislation in these two areas. They also have sole jurisdiction over fishing in internal waters, the harvesting of shellfish, and aquaculture.

    • Sweden

      The general principles governing national fisheries policy are established in a Parliament Act. The Parliament has recently decided to change the Parliament Act so that legal persons, and not only natural persons, can be granted a fishing licence. Natural persons do not need to have personal fishing licence anymore, instead it will be sufficient to have a fishing licence for the fishing boat.

    • Turkey

      In 2013, production from marine capture, inland fishing and aquaculture were 339 047 tonnes, 35 074 tonnes and 233 394 tonnes, respectively. Compared to 2012, the volume of marine capture landings decreased in 2013 by 13.5%, which was largely driven by decrease in Atlantic bonito and Striped venus clam. The value of marine capture was slightly decreased. Total volume of aquaculture production increased from 212.410 tonnes in 2012 to 233.393 tonnes in 2013, an increase of 10%, and its value was slightly increased.

    • United Kingdom

      Of 14 indicator fin-fish stocks in UK waters, the proportion of stocks at full reproductive capacity and being harvested sustainably has risen from around 20% in the 1990s to around 40% in 2009-2012 (as verified by ICES). These trends are likely to be due to a combination of EU controls on total allowable catches (TACs) and of effort.

    • United States

      The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) provides a legal framework for addressing a wide variety of marine stewardship issues. The law mandates an end to overfishing, promotes market-based management, strengthens the role of science, improves data on recreational fisheries, and includes new measures to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and to reduce bycatch in global fisheries.

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