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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

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    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 02-2017

    Current situation

    Qatar is a small nation on the east coast of the Arabian peninsula and in the west of the Gulf. The country has a relatively short coastline (563 km). Its coastal waters are characterized by extreme meteorological and hydrological conditions with temperatures varying from 19°C to 32°C, high evaporation rates and high salinities. Qatar waters are relatively poor in marine resources. In spite of the latter, there were 3011 full-time coastal fishers reported in2015. Although ownership of vessels is restricted to Qatari nationals, the industry depends heavily on expatriate labour. In 2014 464 vessels were reported in the fleet, all under 24m LOA in 2014. The fisheries sector remains important from a socio-economic and traditional viewpoint in that it provides an economic activity and employment in many coastal communities. The landings of the artisanal fisherfolk provide an important supply of fish to local communities and to the important urban areas. The apparent per capita annual fish consumption was estimated 22.3 kg in 2013, above the world average approaching 20 kg.

    Total capture production has significantly increased from 4 400 tonnes in 1999 to a maximum of 17 700 tonnes in 2008 but in 2009 and 2010 it decreased to about 14 000 tonnes. In 2014 and 2015, total catches have further increased again to 16,213 t and 15,203 t, respectively. The most common catch are emperor fishes (3 900 tonnes in 2013), followed by narrow-barred Spanish mackerel and groupers, which are a highly valuable but overexploited resource.

    Commercial marine aquaculture has not started and existing aquaculture activities have been conducted by researchers in small-scale freshwater facilities using tilapia. Production levels are still very low, farmed tilapia production was 10 tons in 2015, a drop from the level around 55 tons in previous years in the recent past. Qatar is nevertheless encouraging investments in mariculture mainly due to limited land availability for land-based operations and in the use of underground freshwater water for the integrated production of agriculture products and fish. Since 2013 the building of a modern and large scale facilities of the Aquatic Research Centre has been under way and it is expected to be completed this year. The Centre will carry out R&D on marine finfish and shrimp, including seed production, for developing mariculture in the country.

    Imports of fish and fishery products were valued at USD 99.8 million in 2015. Exports of fish and fishery products are very limited. They were estimated at USD 1.8 million in 2015.

    Current issues

    Qatar is a country with a relatively well controlled fishery. However, the requirement to develop fisheries management plans is not contained in any legislation and no fisheries management plans currently exist for any fishery. In view of the need to manage fish stocks on a regional basis, the country needs to take part proactively in bilateral and multilateral meetings to assess changes in fish stocks and opportunities for improved management of fishery resources.

    Increasing but unmeasured fishing effort, as well as environmental factors such as land reclamation and dredging, are significant issues in Qatar’s fisheries. In addition, the developing recreational fishing sector is currently not monitored or controlled. Given current trends, it is conceivable that the recreational fishing sector may become particularly important and therefore management issues for this fishery need to be addressed in due time.

    Since December 2002, Qatar is a Party to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, as well as the 1993 FAO Compliance Agreement.
    General geographic and economic indicators

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

    Shelf area 31,818 km2 Sea Around Us Project: http://www.seaaroundus.org/
    Length of continental coastline 563 km World by Map: http://world.bymap.org/
    Fisheries GDP Not available  

    Key statistics

    Country area11 610km2FAOSTAT. Official data, 2013
    Land area11 610km2FAOSTAT. Official data, 2013
    Inland water area0km2Computed. Calculated, 2013
    Population - Est. & Proj.2.139millionsFAOSTAT. Official data, 2018
    Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) area31 423km2VLIZ

    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 Qatar

          1980 1990 2000 2010 2012 2013 2014
    EMPLOYMENT (thousands) 1.00 2.05 5.18 3.30 3.57 2.26 2.90
      Capture 1.00 2.05 5.18 3.30 3.57 2.26 2.90
        Inland 0.01
        Marine 1.00 2.05 5.16 3.30 3.57 2.26 2.90
    FLEET(thousands vessels) 0.50 0.50 0.46
    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 /fishery/docs/DOCUMENT/fcp/en/FI_CP_QA.pdf

    Additional information

    FAO Thematic data bases

    Meetings & News archive


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