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Friday, 14 May 2010

New market access rules, economic crisis affecting seafood industry

Used to be, seafood was largely something only folks on the coasts got to enjoy, while fresh fish was for those lucky enough to live near streams or lakes. Nowadays, though, fish is everywhere. And not just Lake Perch or Salmon. Odd, exotic fish from far-away places. Tilapia. Swai. Mahi Mahi. Kingclip. Fish have gone global. They are, in fact, one of the world's most hotly traded food commodities: some 37 percent of all fish production — 53 million tonnes — is traded internationally. Exports of fish in 2008 were valued at a cool $102 billion. The lion's share of fish being traded is imported by developed countries — 60% of it, in weight terms, and 80% of it in value terms. Europe, Japan and the United States alone account for 70% of all fish imports, in terms of value. The total value of all fish imports in 2008 was $108 billion. For the most part, that fish is from the developing world — the source of 50 percent of all fish imports by rich nations, in value terms ($43 billion). This means revenue. Net export earnings for developing countries from fish trade currently run $27 billion a year.

Source: FAO