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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 (2005)

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    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 11-2015

    The fisheries sector in Cyprus comprises the capture, aquaculture and processing/marketing sub-sectors. The capture fishery consists of an inshore fishery with a trawl fishery and a “multipurpose” fishery. The sport fishery is included in the capture fishery sector. The Cyprus fishing fleet is classified into three different categories, small scale coastal fishing vessels, bottom trawlers and purse seiners. As of 2014 the fleet consisted of 950 fishing vessels, mostly less than 12m in length. Fishing gears used are mainly passive gears including gillnets, bottom set nets and bottom longlines, targeting demersal species.

    Although fisheries and aquaculture play minor roles in Cyprus’ overall economy, they provide the important tourism industry with a significant source of seafood and revenues from sport. The Cyprus bottom trawl and the small scale inshore fishery target a mix of demersal species, as is the case in all Mediterranean demersal fisheries. The exploited stocks are not shared with other countries’ fleets.

    The authority responsible for fishery matters in Cyprus is the Department of Fishery and Marine Research (DFMR) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment. The National and Community legislation provides for a number of fisheries management measures, including limits to fleet size, fishing effort controls, minimum fish landing sizes, fishing gear restrictions, and seasonal and area fishery closures. Since 2010 the compulsory use of vessel monitoring systems (VMS) is applicable to all professional fishing vessels of a less than 15m in length overall (LOA) that hold an A’ and B’ Category licence (around 500 vessels).

    Cyprus accepted the European directions with respect to Chapter 8 – Fisheries and it was generally agreed that the policy, priorities, the management and other measures applied by Cyprus in this sector are aligned to this. A Fishing Monitoring Centre has been established in order to enforce the European Fishing Common Policy.

    The DFMR, under the framework of the 2007‒2013 programming period, has adopted the National Strategic Plan for Fisheries. A Fishing Effort Adjustment Plan for 2009‒2013 has been implemented aimed at reducing the fishing effort for all categories of professional vessels that are active in the territorial waters, under the exclusive control of Cyprus. During the period 2010‒2013 the permanent cessation of demersal trawlers is expected with public financing, that are active in territorial waters.

    In 2014, total fishery production was about 6 100 tonnes, of which aquaculture contributed 4 835 tonnes. Since mid-1990s to mid-2000s, catches by Cyprus flagged vessels were reported by costal states in West Africa. However, these licensing activities ceased a few years after Cyprus joined the European Union in 2004. European seabass and gilthead seabream are the primary cultured species, whereas albacore tuna and picarels are the most caught fish.

    Fish production is consumed locally and is sold fresh or chilled by the fishermen to about 12 fishmongers, who either dispose the catch themselves and/or sell it to retail fish dealers in urban areas. Some fishermen (especially owners of cage farms) sell directly to restaurants or hotels. Fresh fish is much appreciated and is generally considered a luxury food. Fish prices have increased and are generally higher than meat. Per capita consumption of fish was estimated to be some 22.3 kg in 2011 and it is expected to increase further. In 2014, imports of fish and fishery products were valued at USD 94.9 million, while exports at USD 30.4 million.

    In 2009, there were in operation three marine fish hatcheries and one shrimp hatchery/farm on land, as well as seven private offshore cage farms culturing mainly sea bass and sea bream and two offshore cage farms culturing/fattening blue fin tuna and seven small freshwater farms, located in the Troodos mountain range. The only freshwater species cultured is the rainbow trout. Additionally there are two small farms for the culture of ornamental freshwater fish, like Koi-carps and varieties of gold fish. In 2008 the commercial culture of Siberian sturgeon has begun on an experimental basis. The prospects of mariculture offer good development possibilities.

    In 2014 it was reported that employment in the fisheries sector directly provided jobs for some 1 200 (full and part-time fishermen).

    Significant increases and sustained productivity from aquaculture, inshore and trawl fishery resulted from a number of management measures including ecosystem-based management introduced by the Fisheries Department. The construction, improvement and maintenance of fishing shelters were among the Department’s major initiatives. Their construction around the island has had a positive effect on fisheries development. There has been a resulting increase in the size of boats, the amount of fishing gear used, and the number of working days. At the same time new fisheries were introduced like the open-sea cage culture causing fish production to triple since 1979. Employment figures were reported as a total of 350 for 2014.

    The waters around Cyprus are relatively poorly endowed with fish because of the low levels of sea nutrients in the eastern corner of the Mediterranean. Owing to heavy exploitation, little increase is expected from demersal fish stocks. However, development opportunities exist for the unexploited stocks of small pelagics.

    The issue of alien species is to be mentioned. A total of 133 Lessepsian species (i.e. Red Sea marine organisms that migrated into the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal) have been recorded so far in Cyprus which have damaged fishing gears and changed species composition in the catches to the detriment of fishers’ income.

    Within the scope of the DFMR strategy for the creation of Artificial Reef (AR) to enhance fish resources, an AR has been created in the Amathus coastal area, in Limassol, which was funded by the E.F.F. for the period 2007‒2013, and the construction of another three artificial reefs has been programmed for the Ammochostos, Pafos and Polis Chrysochous coastal areas. In all four cases there will be a protected area.

    Freshwater fisheries are marginal in Cyprus due to limited quantities of water available for freshwater fish culture. However, 21 reservoirs have been constructed for agricultural purposes, covering an area of 1 300 ha and stocked with 17 imported species of fish used for angling.

    The Operational Fisheries Programme (OPF) 2007‒2013 establishes the priorities and goals of the fisheries sector as well as the strategy for achieving them during the period 2007‒2013. The total amount of the Public aid climbs up to approximately EUR 39.5 million, of which the community and the national contributions reach 50 percent each respectively. The policy of the fisheries sector for the period 2007‒2013 includes the rationalistic management of the fisheries resources, the development of aquaculture, processing and marketing of fisheries and aquaculture products as well as the sustainable development of fisheries areas, the protection of the marine aquatic environment, the development of the fisheries infrastructure and creation of new employment positions in the fisheries sector. The Cyprus National Database for the collection and storage of data in the fisheries sector is comprised of the following databases: (i) the Data Collection Network System (Data Transmission), (ii) the Central Database and (iii) the Fishing Vessel Fleet Register (FVR).

    Acknowledging the poor status of the stocks assessed, the Government of Cyprus has formulated and implements, since January 2010 a Fishing Effort Adjustment Plan (FEAP).

    Cyprus is Party to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and to the 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement. Cyprus is also Party to the 1993 FAO Compliance Agreement since July 1995.
    General geographic and economic indicators

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

    Shelf area 1 731km2

    Sea around us: http://www.seaaroundus.org/

    Fisheries GVA Not Available  
    Fisheries GDP (2014) 1,8% Nat GDP

    Bureau of Statistics(Guyana): https://www.statisticsguyana.gov.gy/

    Key statistics

    Country area9 250km2FAOSTAT. Official data, 2013
    Land area9 240km2FAOSTAT. Official data, 2013
    Inland water area10km2Computed. Calculated, 2013
    Population - Est. & Proj.1.198millionsFAOSTAT. Official data, 2018
    Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) area98 468km2VLIZ

    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 Cyprus

          1980 1990 2000 2010 2012 2013 2014
    EMPLOYMENT (thousands) 0.87 0.76 1.35 1.53 1.56 1.56 1.56
      Aquaculture 0.24 0.23 0.28 0.26 0.35
      Capture 0.87 0.76 1.11 1.30 1.28 1.30 1.21
        Marine 0.87 0.76 1.11 1.30 1.28 1.30 1.21
    FLEET(thousands vessels) 1.01 1.08 0.89 0.95
    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 2005The 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_CY.pdf

    Additional information

    Meetings & News archive


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