Aquaculture at present contributes only 4.8 percent (by volume) to the total production of fish in Greece, which in turn contributes less than 0.5 percent to the gross national product of the economy.
The present production is, for the most part, based on extensive methods in fresh water and brackish water, as well as on intensive methods in fresh water.
Intensive and semi-intensive marine environment cultivation methods are a very recent development in Greece, and production levels are still low.
The value of current national aquaculture production is approximately Dr 2 700 million. In 1986, the contribution of the various species, environments and methods to overall production was as follows:
|Trout/carp||Freshwater (lakes and rivers)||Extensive 1||1 812|
|Mullet/sea bass/sea bream/eels/others||Brackishwater (lagoons)||Extensive||2 588|
|Sea bass/sea bream||Marine||Intensive||90|
Adapted from information provided by the Fisheries Section, Agricultural Bank of Greece.
1 FAO does not define production from stocked lakes and rivers as contributing to aquaculture production; however, these are grouped under aquaculture in official estimates in Greece.
Greece possesses sufficient natural resources to significantly expand aquaculture production from its current low levels. Freshwater, brackishwater and marine resources, using extensive, semi-intensive and intensive methods of production, can all contribute to this expansion.
The most promising species upon which to base increased production are trout, carp, sea bream, sea bass, eels, mullet, and mussels and clams. Other possible species for increased production are salmon, oysters and marine shrimp.
A well coordinated and planned development effort will be needed to bring about significant increases in production. To achieve this, public investment will be made in infrastructure, in extension and seed supply services, and in research and training programmes.
With an appropriate strategy, and at the currently planned levels of public investment, production can be increased from the present level of 7 000 t to between 10 000 and 12 000 t a year by 1992, and to over 20 000 t by the year 2000. This expansion will produce significant social and economic benefits (see Appendix 1), and provide a significant amount of new employment.
Many marine aquaculture technologies, while potentially very productive, are still evolving. Although it is in the national interest to encourage both research and production, a careful review of developments will be necessary to ensure the optimization of the national potential and the efficient use of public monies.
A national strategy for coherent long-term support to the aquaculture sector is necessary. The current situation has been analysed in depth in a series of technical reports (see Section 6.1). On this basis, the following actions will be taken by the national authorities:
Coordination between, and among, public and private sector agencies involved in aquaculture will be improved, and the development effort at the regional level will be strengthened.
Plans will be established to regulate the use of natural resources, so as to prevent competition between aquaculture and other industries and activities.
Procedures for the acquisition of licences and for financing will be streamlined.
Technologies to increase production will either be developed in Greece or introduced from areas where they already exist.
Marketing conditions for aquaculture products will be improved, and market information services established.
A service for the collection and dissemination of aquaculture information will be established.
The aquaculture extension service will be improved.
Practical training courses and increased support to applied research in aquaculture will be provided.
National quality control standards for aquaculture products will be established.
Strict pollution controls will be introduced to protect aquaculture.
Provisions will be made for the control of fish and shellfish diseases.