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Part2Series1 (2007)


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    OverviewUpdated 12-2015

    During the last decade the number of vessels of the German fleet has decreased from 2 315 in 2000 to 1 492 in 2014, a total decline of about 36 percent over 15 years. The German fleet of 1 492 vessels, representing only 1.7 percent of the European Community fleet in terms of vessel numbers. Nearly 80 percent of the fleet are small vessels (<12 meters in length). Most of the other vessels are trawlers fishing for demersal and pelagic species and flatfish in the North Sea and in the Baltic. Only 17 vessels over 12 metres length are using passive gear as the main gear.

    Total fisheries production amounted to 255 200 tonnes (live weight) in 2013. Capture fisheries produced 229 900 tonnes and aquaculture 25 300 tonnes in 2013. Aquaculture production is considered to be considerably underestimated, because the new data collection system in Germany no longer covers the production by small producers that are quite substantive. In 2014, imports of fish and fishery products were valued at USD 5.9 billion and exports were worth USD 3.0 billion.

    In 2014, about 2 270 people were reported directly engaged in marine fishing and an additional 6 600 were employed in the processing industry. Germany maintains an important fish processing industry which is greatly dependent on foreign sources of raw material supply.

    About 780 000 ha of the country is covered by rivers, lakes and ponds, most of which are utilized for fisheries. Lake and river fisheries generate a substantial amount of fish caught by 1.5 million recreational fishers. Germany's aquaculture industry focuses mainly on mussel growing and on carp and trout farming.

    In 2010, per caput fish consumption was around 14.2 kg; even though this amount has been stagnating in the last few years, the aging population is increasingly aware of the positive impact of fish on health. German consumers’ favourite fish are Alaska Pollack, saithe (coalfish), herring and tuna followed by Atlantic and Pacific salmon. The share of fisheries products from aquaculture experienced a steady rise on the German market. Fish is mainly purchased as canned preparations and in frozen form.

    The Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute (TI) - Federal Research Institute for Rural Areas, Forestry and Fisheries management is a leading institution in marine research. The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture is the competent authority on fisheries and fisheries and aquaculture at the federal level.

    Due to the federal state structure, there are three levels of government: the federation (national level), the Länder (federal states, provinces, or regional level), and municipalities (local level). In terms of legislative power at the federal level, the federal state can enact laws on sea and coastal fisheries within the so-called "concurrent legislation", whereas the Länder are exclusively responsible for national inland water fisheries. Therefore, fishery acts exist both at the federal level, including provisions on sea and coastal fisheries, and at the Länder level with provisions on inland water fisheries and territorial waters (within the 12 nautical miles zone).

    Since October 1994, Germany has been Party to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea; on 19 December 2003, on the same day as other European Union (EU) countries and the EU itself, Germany became a Party to the 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement, and made a declaration recalling “that as a Member of the European Community, the Federal Republic of Germany has transferred competence to the European Community in respect of certain matters governed by the Agreement, which are specified in Annex I to this declaration”. Through the EU, it is Party to the 1993 FAO Compliance Agreement.
    Gen Geo Econ Report

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

    Shelf area 41 000km2 Sea around us: http://www.seaaroundus.org/
    Length of continental coastline 3 660km

    European Commission:


    Fisheries GVA Not Available  

    Country Stats-Key Statistics

    Country Stats-labelCountry Stats-valueCountry Stats-source
    Country area357 170km2Country Stats Sys-area. Expert sources from FAO (including other divisions), 2013
    Land area348 540km2Country Stats Sys-area. Expert sources from FAO (including other divisions), 2013
    Country Stats Label-inlandarea8 630km2Country Stats Sys-calculated. Calculated, 2013
    Population - Est. & Proj.81.167millionsCountry Stats Sys-pop. Official data, 2018
    Eez Flagstate Area56 512km2Vliz Name
    GDP (current US$)3 677 439MillionsWorld Bank. 2017
    GDP per capita (current US$)44 470US$World Bank. 2017
    Agriculture, forestry, and fishing, value added0.63% 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 Federal Republic of Germany

          1980 1990 2000 2010 2012 2013 2014
    EMPLOYMENT (thousands) 4.80 4.40 2.90 2.60 2.50
      Capture 4.80 4.40 2.90 2.60 2.50
        Marine 4.80 4.40 2.90 2.60 2.50
    FLEET(thousands vessels) 1.20 2.30 1.70 1.60 1.50 1.50
    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 2007Part2Series1


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


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