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GLOBEFISH - Information and Analysis on World Fish Trade

France fisheries statistics: production, consumption and trade

France produced 712 000 tonnes of fisheries products in 2015, with 70 percent from capture fisheries and 30 percent from aquaculture. France is the third largest fish and fishery products producer in the EU28, both in terms of value and volume. Major species groups from capture fisheries include demersal fish and pelagics.  France is also one of the biggest aquaculture producers in the EU28; the majority of production comes from shellfish farming. In 2014, France produced over 76 700 tonnes of oysters, accounting for 82 percent of the EU28’s oyster production. The country was the EU28’s second largest mussel producer in 2014, with a volume of over 80 850 tonnes.

France is a net importer of fish and fishery products with most trade done within the EU28.  Imports totaled 1.28 million tonnes in 2016, worth USD 6.9 billion. Top importing partners were Norway (USD 870 million), the United Kingdom (USD 646 million), Spain (USD 555 million) and Germany (USD 444 million).  Imports mainly consist of salmon, shrimp and prawns, tuna, cod, scallops and Alaska pollock.

In 2016, France exported USD 2.38 billion of seafood, with again most of the trade being done within the EU28. Indeed, the EU28 absorbed more than two thirds of French seafood in both value and volume terms that year. Top EU28 import destinations included Spain (taking a 16 percent market share in value), Belgium (14 percent), Italy (12 percent) and the United Kingdom (11 percent). In value terms, the main exported species are salmonids, tuna, oysters, shrimp, squid and cuttlefish.

France is the second most important processing country in the EU28 after Spain, with EUR 3.75 billion generated in processing sales in 2014 (EUMOFA, 2016). According to FranceAgrimer, the seafood processing sector included 302 companies that generated EUR 5 billion and employed 17 326 people in 2013. 25 percent of this value came from the canning industry, 22 percent from smoking and curing and 19 percent from freezing and filleting. Surimi and caviar is an important processing industry in France as well, it contributed 17 percent to the 2013 processing value. Smoked salmonids is also an important subsector to the processing industry, in 2013 France supplied almost 21 percent of the EU28 market’s volume. France sends one third of its salmon imports to be smoked, which includes 55 specialized companies (EUMOFA, 2016).

Cooking fish and seafood is deeply rooted in the culinary tradition in France. Average fish consumption was estimated at 34 kg per capita in 2015, of which one third comes from aquaculture (FranceAgrimer, 2017). Cod and salmon are the most consumed species, followed by scallops, oysters, mussels and prawns. Wild finfish represented 59 percent while farmed shellfish and crustaceans accounted for 19 percent of consumption. Farmed fish accounted for another 13 percent (FranceAgrimer, 2017). 

Graphs and tables are based on statistics prepared by the FAO Statistics and Information Branch, Fisheries and Aquaculture Department

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


Bivalves, salmon and shrimp

Market Reports

13-09-2019 Summer in Europe is the main sales period for mussels, scallops and clams, while oysters are less in demand due to health considerations. Prices are high for all species, while trade in the first quarter of 2019 was stable. Mussels Mussel ...
11-09-2019 The start of 2019 was largely business as usual for the farmed salmon sector, with high and stable prices prevailing. Previous forecasts for a softening of prices later in the year have now been revised after a severe algal bloom ...
10-09-2019 Shrimp imports contracted in the United States of America and the EU28 during the first quarter of 2019. Strong direct imports in China and good seasonal demand in Southeast Asia kept the shrimp aquaculture and export industries from another price ...
24-06-2019 With the Chilean sector’s performance improving in 2018, the global Atlantic salmon aquaculture industry is matching good profitability with consistent and controlled growth. Despite a 5 percent increase in supply in 2018, production growth continues to lag demand and stakeholders ...
24-06-2019 Bivalves are in huge demand worldwide, with new consumers starting to appreciate this seafood. The production of bivalves is growing, applying new technology, such as offshore production areas, in order to meet the ever-growing demand. Different from other seafood, bivalves ...
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Cover photo:  Erich Westendarp (CC0 1.0)

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