Mercados y Comercio

No. 52 The importance of international trade for fisheries and aquaculture products

Year of publication2023
AbstractAs a result of economic growth, technological advances and trade liberalization, the integration of the fisheries and aquaculture sector into international markets has brought many benefits. These include a more efficient allocation of resources, a wider choice of products for consumers, improved access to fish and seafood, and greater development opportunities, particularly for the most vulnerable countries and populations. The fisheries and aquaculture industry has grown in recent decades, making aquatic products increasingly important for human livelihoods and subsistence, as well as for nutrition, providing protein and macronutrients. Since the 1960s, per capita consumption of edible fish has increased from 9.0 kg in 1961 to 20.2 kg in 2020. Today, fisheries and aquaculture products are among the most widely traded food commodities in the world, contributing significantly to economic growth in several developing countries, providing economic opportunities and a source of export earnings. Total production of aquatic products has increased significantly from 71.9 million tonnes (live weight equivalent) in 1990 to 185.5 million tonnes in 2023, and global exports of aquatic products have increased from 21 million tonnes to 68 million tonnes (projected). In 2022, trade in fisheries and aquaculture products will account for approximately 1 percent of global trade, valued at USD 190 billion, making it one of the most extensively traded commodities in the world. This policy brief discusses the importance of fisheries and aquaculture, provides an overview of key statistics on fisheries and aquaculture products, including on production and trade, and assesses the importance of small-scale fisheries.
Available inEnglish
Product typeJournal; magazine; bulletin
SeriesTrade Policy Briefs
ISSNISSN 2707-2290
Areas of workTrade Policy and Partnerships
Keywordsfishery products; small-scale fisheries; trade policies; world markets; trade liberalization; sustainable development