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Aquaculture Trade. Fahmida Khatun, PhD Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), Bangladesh Presented at the Meeting on Fisheries, Trade and Development Organised by ICTSD Geneva, Switzerland: 16 June 2010. Contents. Introduction Production of Aquaculture Trade in Aquaculture

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Aquaculture Trade

Fahmida Khatun, PhD

Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), Bangladesh

Presented at the Meeting on

Fisheries, Trade and Development

Organised by ICTSD

Geneva, Switzerland: 16 June 2010

  • Introduction
  • Production of Aquaculture
  • Trade in Aquaculture
  • Market Access Issues under the WTO Regime
  • Conclusions

I. Introduction

  • ■ Aquaculture production is done from three sources: fresh-water aquaculture, marine-water aquaculture and brackish-water aquaculture.
  • ■ In 2007 total aquaculture production was estimated to be about 65,187,798 metric tonnes whose market value was about US$ 94551.58 million (FAO 2009). In 1970 the production was about 3.5 million tonnes;
  • ■ Total aquaculture production by the low-income food deficit countries (LIFDCs) in 2007 was about 52,543,714 tonnes which is about 80.6% of the world total.
  • ■ Aquaculture now represents about 50% of international trade in the fisheries sector.
  • ■ In developing countries aquaculture is an important source of animal protein.
i introduction
I. Introduction

■ It is a source of both male and female employment. Women, in many developing countries, are particularly involved in processing, retailing and local trading;

■ In 2007 China alone generated 62% of the world aquaculture production followed by India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand;

■ Among the most captured aquatic species, carps alone contributed about 38% of the global catch in 2007, white leg shrimp generated US$ 8.8. billion followed by Atlantic salmon (US$ 7.6 billion);

■ The contribution of aquaculture to the global supply of seafood has increased from 5% in 1970 to about 36% in 2007;

■ Between 2002-2007 aquaculture production grew at average rate of 6.5 % annually.

i introduction1
I. Introduction

■ Many countries of the world, particularly the lower and middle income countries, depend on aquaculture not only for their food but also for earning foreign currencies by exporting them. On the other hand, millions of people around these countries depend highly on aquaculture for their survival.

■ Currently, about 80% of the world’s fisheries (including aquatic species) are being fished up to or beyond their biological limits, while in 1978 this was only in case of up to 9% of the world fisheries. It shows how fast these resources are getting extinct.

■ Keeping in mind the need for additional food, specially protein, demands for the overgrowing people of the world as a whole and the developing countries in particular, it is important to stop unsustainable aquaculture practices. The significant trade volumes of aquaculture in developing countries also indicate the importance of this sector.

■ Thus there is need for developing sustainable aquaculture across the world for larger societal benefits.


II. Production of Aquaculture

Figure 1: Various Types of Aquaculture Production by Continent

The above figure indicates that Asia has a clear edge over the other continents in aquaculture production.


II. Production of Aquaculture contd…..

Table 1: Value of Aquaculture production by continent Figure 2: Aquaculture Production by continent

■ The above table and graph indicate how aquaculture production has remained predominantly an Asian output. Besides China, many other developing Asian countries also produce substantial amount of aquatic resources and earn foreign currencies by exporting them.

ii production of aquaculture condt

Table 2: List of Top 10 Aquaculture Producing Countries (in MT)

Source: FAO 2007

ii production of aquaculture

Figure 3: List of Top 10 Aquaculture Producing Countries

China has a clear advantage over other Asian aquaculture

producing countries in the world

ii production of aquaculture table 3 world aquatic production by isscaap divisions

Source: FAO 2009.

ii production of aquaculture table 5 world aquaculture production by principal species in 2007

Source: FAO 2009

iii trade in aquaculture
III. Trade in Aquaculture

Figure 4: Exports of Aquatic products by Different Continents

■ Europe and Asia dominate export of aquaculture


III. Trade in Aquaculture contd…

Figure 5: Imports of Aquatic products by Different Continents

Europe imports highest amount of aquatic products.


III. Trade in Aquaculture contd…

Figure 6: Exports of Aquaculture Products by Selected Countries

■ China exports highest amount of aquatic products followed by

Thailand, Indonesia and India.


III. Trade in Aquaculture contd…

Figure 7: Imports of Aquaculture Products by Selected Countries

■ Among the Asian countries, Vietnam and Thailand import highest amount of aquatic products from other countries whereas China, Bangladesh and Indonesia import a negligible amount.


IV. Market Access Issues for Aquaculture

  • Tariff: Reduction of import tariff by importing countries and removal of protectionist tariffs will stimulate international fish trade;
  • It will stimulate investment in processing, implementation of standards
  • More transparent tariff regime is essential.
  • Non-Tariff Measures
  • * Sanitary and Phyto Sanitary (SPS) Countries impose strict food safety and animal and plant measures (SPS) on products from other, particularly developing countries. Measures may include steps such as:
  • inspection of products, permission to use only certain additives in food, determination of maximum levels of pesticides use, quarantine requirements and import bans.

IV. Market Access Issues for Aquaculture

* Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreements: Issues covered under TBT include standards including packaging, labeling requirements and procedures for assessment of conformity.


(1) to export fish and fisheries product to the EU vessels must carry a veterinary certificate and processing factories must be inspected and passed by a national competent authority accredited by the EU. These standards are greater barriers than tariffs;

(2)the EU ban on imports of shrimp from Bangladesh in 1997, imposed on the ground of health safety and hygiene.


IV. Market Access Issues for Aquaculture

■ Anti-dumping

The use of anti-dumping measures has increased tremendously after the GATT and WTO agreements restricted the use of normal tariffs. There is accordingly a substantial suspicion that anti-dumping measures to a large extent are being used as protective measures.

Example: Vietnamese experiences for its catfish industry while exporting to a big market such as the USA. The anti-dumping policy of the USA led to a strong decline in export of catfish to the US market.


The Doha Agenda is particularly concerned about the use of subsidies in fisheries by the rich countries which lead to over-exploitation and over-fishing.

Fisheries access agreements could be reformed through WTO’s discipline on subsidies

■Labelling and certification

There is an increased interest in eco-labelling. Though it may be difficult for developing countries to meet certification criterion it can be an incentive for better fisheries management in order for countries to enter developed country markets.


V. Concluding Remarks

  • Productivity growth and profitability have been the driving forces behind growth of aquaculture production;
  • Lower production costs have made aquaculture competitive in the global market;
  • Trade measures have a role to sustainable practice in aquaculture production;
  • There is a need for transparent trade measures.



V. Concluding Remarks

  • Aquaculture resources are increasingly coming under serious threats from overexploitation and degradation;
  • Proper management and development of sustainable exploitation patterns are important to reap the benefits for a longer period;
  • Aquaculture is also vulnerable to climate change threatening reduced food consumption, income levels and employment opportunities in poor countries;
  • There should be a balance between domestic consumption and export. Food security should get priority against increased economic gain from international trade of aquaculture.

V. Concluding Remarks

  • Efforts should betaken to rebuild stocks and improve aquaculture governance at domestic and global levels;
  • Improved aquaculture management through strict monitoring have to be done by various international and regional fisheries and aquaculture bodies, and non-government organisations (NGOs);
  • Alternative employment opportunities should be created in regions where aquaculture stock is declining;
  • Fishery and aquaculture sector in the national preparedness planning for climate impact as the sector is vulnerable to climate change in many countries.