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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 (2003)

    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 05-2017

    Current situation

    Kuwait is situated in the northwestern corner of the Arabic Gulf with a small coastline of 195 km. The sea area and coastline of Kuwait have extreme meteorological and hydrological conditions, very high evaporation rates and high salinities in summer months. The marine environment is affected by the freshwater inflow to the northern Gulf from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

    The fisheries are now insignificant from an economic point of view in Kuwait, but were the most important revenue for Kuwaitis before oil was found. Fisheries are still the second largest export industry after oil. Kuwaiti fisheries consist of two sectors: the industrial shrimp fishery and the artisanal multi-species, multi-gear fisheries exploiting pelagic and valuable demersal species.

    The industrial shrimp fishery started in the early 1960s, and expanded rapidly afterwards. Pressure on resources resulted in the introduction of management measures in 1980. However, after the 1991 liberation of Kuwait from Iraqi occupation, industrial fishing capacity increased significantly (with illegal fishing also being common). Shrimp landings have fluctuated at around 1 740 tonnes per year over the last decade.

    Kuwait’s total capture production was stable around 4 000–4 500 tonnes per year in the 2011–13 period. In 2015 it was reported that the fishing fleet had licences for 8 steel-hulled boats, 158 wooden dhows (trawlers, gill netters and trap setters), and 672 speed boats (gill netters and trap setters). Aquaculture production is negligible at a level around 300 tonnes in recent years, most of which was Nile tilapia produced by about 80 farms using water for irrigation. Marine fin fish culture is less than 10 tonnes. Fisheries employment has declined and only 370 people were reported as employed in 2015, compared to the nearly 3 500 people reported in 2013, while 85 people were reported as engaged in aquaculture for 2015.

    In 2015, imports of fish and fishery products were valued at about USD 202 million, and consisting mostly of flatfish, prepared and preserved tunas, frozen fish fillets and shrimps. In the same year exports were worth USD 1.4 million. The main exported species were tunas, lobsters and shrimp. The average per capita supply of fish was estimated at 13.9 kg/year in 2013.

    The national authority with responsibility for fisheries management is the Public Authority for Agriculture and Fisheries Resources (PAAF). The Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research undertakes research in fisheries and aquaculture.

    Kuwait is Party to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea since May 1986, in addition to the 1993 FAO Compliance Agreement since August 2002.
    General geographic and economic indicators

    Table 1 - General Geographic and Economic Data – The State of Kuwait

    Shelf area: 11,786 km2 Sea around us: http://www.seaaroundus.org/
    Length of continental coastline: 499 km World by Map: http://world.bymap.org
    Fisheries GVA (2014): 0.02% UNSD /FAO

    Key statistics

    Country area17 820km2FAOSTAT. Official data, 2013
    Land area17 820km2FAOSTAT. Official data, 2013
    Inland water area0km2Computed. Calculated, 2013
    Population - Est. & Proj.3.273millionsFAOSTAT. Official data, 2018
    Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) area11 193km2VLIZ
    GDP (current US$)140 645millionsWorld Bank. 2018
    GDP per capita (current US$)33 994US$World Bank. 2018
    Agriculture, forestry, and fishing, value added0.44% 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 – Fisheries statistics – The State of Kuwait

    1980 1990 2000 2010 2012 2013 2014
    EMPLOYMENT (thousands) 1.80 3.11 3.32 2.45 2.11 3.59
    Aquaculture 0.15 0.15 0.14 0.11
    Capture 1.80 3.11 3.17 2.30 1.97 3.48
    Marine 1.80 3.11 3.17 2.30 1.97 3.48
    FLEET(thousands boats) 0.88 0.88 0.86 0.85
    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 2003The 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 http://www.fao.org/tempref/FI/DOCUMENT/fcp/en/FI_CP_KW.pdf

    Additional information

    FAO Thematic data bases

    Meetings & News archive


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