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Part2Series1 (2004)


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    OverviewUpdated 11-2015

    Albania is a small country in Europe covering an area of 28 748 km2 and is located in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula. Albania had a population of 3.2 million in 2012 and had a high population growth rate but also a large emigration rate. Fishing activity takes place along the entire 476 km of Albania’s coastline, including its territorial waters (12 miles from its baselines). However, fishing activity is mainly concentrated on the continental shelf, which on the Adriatic side in the north extends to 25 miles, but to only 2–4 miles on the side of the Ionian Sea.

    Since 1991, Albania has experienced a transitional phase from the centralized communist regime towards a free market economy which has affected all the sectors.

    Marine capture fishery is the most important sector of the fisheries industry but lagoon and inland fisheries are also significant. Capture production in 2014 was 5 730 tonnes, with marine fisheries constituting 68 percent of the total and the rest coming from inland fisheries. The Albanian fishing fleet is currently located in four ports: Durrësi, Vlora, Shëngjini and Saranda, where about 2 250 persons are employed. In addition, 2 100 fishers were directly engaged in inland fisheries in 2014. There were 584 commercial vessels in 2014. Nearly 40 percent of the fleet were trawlers and vessels less than 6 meters in length make up about 40 percent of the fleet.

    In 2014 aquaculture produced 2 424 tonnes, consisting freshwater fishes, marine fishes and mollusc, roughly each at one third of the total production. There are currently 24 marine fish farms for sea bass and sea bream, 22 trout farms, several enterprises that farm mussels in Lake Butrint and 4 hatcheries for carp fingerlings that are grown in inland natural and artificial reservoirs. Aquaculture provided direct employment of 400 in 2014.

    In 2014 imports of fish and fishery products were valued at USD 14.8 million, representing a 56 percent decline compared to 2013. Exports were worth USD 31.5 million, with prepared and preserved anchovies representing the bulk of exports (89%). The consumption of fish in Albania has increased gradually and the consumption per capita is estimated to be about 5.5 kg/year in 2012.

    The Directorate of Fisheries Policies of the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Water Administration, is responsible for managing the fisheries sector. The Fishery Research Institute in Durres is responsible for fisheries research. The institute operates five fingerling production units for restocking. The main scientific activities of the Institute are fish stock assessment, study of Albania’s lagoons and their potential and the restocking of inland water bodies with fingerlings.

    The legislative framework for the fisheries and aquaculture sector includes several laws and by-laws. The main law regulating this sector is Law no 64/12 of 2012 “On Fishery”. Albania is in the process of becoming a European Union (EU) Candidate Country and, in this regard, is also in the process of aligning its legislation with the EU’s acquis communautaire. Several by-laws have been approved that transpose some of the principles of the Common Fishery Policy into Albanian legislation. The legislation also contains the main principles of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and has initiated the formation of the Fishery Management Organisation for marine and inland waters.

    In the last twenty years, the fishery sector has undergone a radical change. The catch composition has been dominated by valuable demersal species which have been mainly exported (largely to EU countries) as fresh fish. Consequently, trawlers are the dominant part of the fleet and the small and large pelagic fisheries are not developed. There are increasing concerns related to the over-exploitation of stocks due to internal and external pressure.

    The aquaculture sector has also transformed itself over the years, with the most profitable sub sector being marine cage culture while the traditional cyprinid farming has gradually lost importance, but REU has identified a considerable potential for poverty alleviation through small holder aquaculture. Hatcheries exist for carps and trout while for sea bass and sea bream the fingerlings are imported. The majority of the aquaculture products (including the mussel production) are consumed domestically.

    The EU is supporting the Albanian fishery sector with a EUR 2 million project “Establishing and Strengthening a Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) System for Fisheries in Albania”, which aims at increasing the capacity of the fishery inspectors and the installation of Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) devices on all vessels longer than 12 m.

    In March 2003, Albania adhered to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES).

    Albania acceded to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in June 2003. It is also a Party to the 1976 UNEP Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean (Barcelona Convention).
    Gen Geo Econ Report

    Table 1 - General Geographic and Economic Data – The Republic of Albania

    Shelf area 6 090 km2 Sea around us:
    Length of continental coastline 362 km

    World By Map:

    Fisheries GDP (year) Not available  

    Country Stats-Key Statistics

    Country Stats-labelCountry Stats-valueCountry Stats-source
    Country area28 750km2Country Stats Sys-area. Official data, 2013
    Land area27 400km2Country Stats Sys-area. Official data, 2013
    Country Stats Label-inlandarea1 350km2Country Stats Sys-calculated. Calculated, 2013
    Population - Est. & Proj.3.282millionsCountry Stats Sys-pop. Official data, 2018
    Eez Flagstate Area12 150km2Vliz Name
    GDP (current US$)13 039MillionsWorld Bank. 2017
    GDP per capita (current US$)4 538US$World Bank. 2017
    Agriculture, forestry, and fishing, value added18.96% of GDPWorld Bank. 2017
    StatisticsTable 2 in this section is based on statistics prepared by the Statistics and Information Branch of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department and disseminated in 2016. The charts are based on the same source but these are automatically updated every year with the most recent disseminated statistics.

    Table 2 – Employment and Fleet Statistics - The Republic of Albania

          1980 1990 2000 2010 2012 2013 2014
    EMPLOYMENT (thousands) 2.80 4.01 1.14 2.00 2.32 2.32 2.65
      Aquaculture   ... 0.14 0.40 0.40 0.40 0.40
      Capture 2.80 4.01 1.00 1.60 1.92 1.92 2.25
        Inland ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
        Marine 2.80 4.01 1.00 1.60 1.92 1.92 2.25
    FLEET(thousands vessels) ... ... 0.94 0.32 0.32 0.31 0.31
    Source: FAO Fishery and Aquaculture Statistics
    1) Due to roundings total may not sum up

    Please note: Fishery statistical data here presented exclude the production for marine mammals, crocodiles, corals, sponges, pearls, mother-of-pearl and aquatic plants.


    Last Updated 2004Part2Series1


    Full text of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Country Profile available at /fishery/docs/DOCUMENT/fcp/en/FI_CP_AL.pdf




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