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Part I Statistics and main indicators

  1. Country brief
  2. General geographic and economic indicators
  3. FAO Fisheries statistics

The Profile (2008)

    Additional information

    1. FAO Thematic data bases
    2. Publications
    3. Meetings & News archive

    Part I Statistics and main indicators

    Part I of the Fishery and Aquaculture Country Profile is compiled using the most up-to-date information available from the FAO Country briefs and Statistics programmes at the time of publication. The Country Brief and the FAO Fisheries Statistics provided in Part I may, however, have been prepared at different times, which would explain any inconsistencies.

    Country briefUpdated 06-2015

    Benin has an area of 114 760 km² and a population of 9 607 000 inhabitants (2013). It has a coastline of 120 km and abundant marine resources, with a continental shelf of 3 100 km² of which 2 750 for trawling with 300 km² really productive. Lagoons and brackish lakes with relatively easy access and which extend along the coast (more than 130 000 ha) are quite productive.

    Industrial fishing is undeveloped with fewer than 20 trawlers and seiners, whereas artisanal fishing is carried out all along the coast despite the difficulties of landing and hauling canoes with a reported estimate of 50 000 canoes; the port of Cotonou is the only shelter and main landing centre. In 2013 just under 40 000 people were reported to engage in fisheries. Total production of marine fisheries increased significantly up to 16 200 tonnes in 2013, compared to 7 700 tonnes in 2011.I Inland fisheries produced around 26 200 tonnes in 2013, of which 90 percent were caught on the water bodies of South Benin.

    Aquaculture production was 667 tonnes in 2013 (407 tonnes of Nile tilapia and 260 tons of North African catfish), valued at about USD 2.8 million. Much of the fish are produced by one operator using Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) facilities imported from Europe which is high in initial investment and operation cost. Small-scale aquaculture development has been limited due to ineffective public sector support and services. Aquaculture employment was reported at 3 000 jobs in 2013.

    The annual fish consumption was 13.6 kg per person in 2011. In 2014, Benin imports amounted to USD 141.5 million, while exports were valued at USD 0.9 million.

    Like a few other African countries, Benin has established a territorial sea of 200 nautical miles. Fisheries are governed by a law of 1968, which is being revised. The Fisheries and Aquaculture Department has limited funds and depends mainly on foreign assistance to promote the development of this sector.

    There is limited scope to increase marine captures in the future using the artisanal and industrial fleet currently in operation. However, additional catch can result from the exploitation of tuna and some small pelagic species presentseasonally in the waters under national jurisdiction and in the adjacent high seas.

    To reduce overfishing and fish imports, Benin has developed a medium- and long-term strategy for the promotion of aquaculture, which could contribute substantially to fish consumption over the next ten years. Likewise, the removal of constraints in valorising these resources will enable the sector to contribute to the effective and sustainable food security and nutrition of the population.

    Limited availability and access to good quality feed, seed and investment funding as well as limited use of modern and efficient fish farming technologies are some of the major constraints to aquaculture. However, prompted by high demand for fish in the region, especially the neighbouring, Nigeria private investments are coming in, giving a new impetus to the sector.

    Since October 1997, Benin is a party to the UN Convention of 1982 on the Law of the Sea (1982) and since January 1999, the Agreement to promote compliance by fishing vessels on the high seas of international conservation and Management measures (1993). Benin signed on 28 September 2010 the FAO Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate IUU Fishing. It has not signed the 1995 UN Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks.

    General geographic and economic indicators

    Table 1 - General Geographic and Economic Data - The Republic of Benin

    Shelf area 3 248 km2 Sea around us:
    Length of continental coastline 121 km
    Fisheries GVA Not available  

    Key statistics

    Country area114 760km2FAOSTAT. Official data, 2013
    Land area112 760km2FAOSTAT. Expert sources from FAO (including other divisions), 2013
    Inland water area2 000km2Computed. Calculated, 2013
    Population - Est. & Proj.10.951millionsFAOSTAT. Official data, 2018
    Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) area35 648km2VLIZ
    GDP (current US$)10 354millionsWorld Bank. 2018
    GDP per capita (current US$)901.54US$World Bank. 2018
    Agriculture, forestry, and fishing, value added22.64% of GDPWorld Bank. 2018

    Source: FAO Country Profile

    FAO Fisheries 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 Benin

          1980 1990 2000 2010 2012 2013 2014
    EMPLOYMENT (thousands) 67.20 48.50 61.80 37.40 40.50 40.50 40.50
      Aquaculture ... ... ... 1.40 3.00 3.00 3.00
      Capture 67.20 48.50 61.80 36.10 37.50 37.50 37.50
        Inland 64.00 45.30 58.00 31.00 31.00 31.00 31.00
        Marine 3.20 3.20 3.80 5.10 6.50 6.50 6.50
    FLEET(thousands vessels) ... ... ... ... 53.30 53.30 ...
    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.


    Updated 2008The Profile

    This country profile provides statistics and indicators produced through FAO’s Statistics programmes, supplemented with information derived from national and other sources and valid at the time of compilation.

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

    Additional information

    FAO Thematic data bases

    Meetings & News archive


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