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abania_mapCapital: Tirana
Population: 3 million (2014 est., World Factbook)
GDP: €9 billion (2013 est., World Factbook)
GDP/capita: €5,860 (2013 est., World Factbook)

Fish production:
  
Capture: 4,044 tonnes (2012, FAO)
   Aquaculture: 2,010 tonnes (2012, FAO)
   Export value: € 28.3 million (2012, FAO)
   Import value: € 21.9 million (2012, FAO)




Overview of the Albanian fisheries and aquaculture sector

The fisheries sector in Albania is relatively small, however it is important from a socio-economic point of view as it is a significant source of jobs in coastal and remote areas.

Fishing sector
The fishing fleet in Albania is made of 552 vessels (as of November 2013), of which about 40% are small polyvalent vessels less than 6 m long. Vessels above 12 m represent some 43% and they are relatively old (more than 35 years). The main gear used is trawls (about 38% of the total number).

Marine fish catches have increased from 1,373 tonnes in 2001 to 2,374 tonnes in 2012. Demersal species make up 35-40% of the catches.

Most of the Albanian fleet is small scale fishing vessels that has landings of about 500 tonnes (2012). On the Adriatic coast the most used gears are trammel nets, gillnets, and entangling nets, while on the Ionian Sea coast long lines and gillnets are the primary gears. The fishing fleet is distributed minly in the regions of Durresi (38%), Vlora (35%), Saranda (14%), and Shengjini( 12%).


Inland fisheries
There are eight main lagoons with a total area of 10,000 ha. In 2012, the inland catch amounted to 1 670 tonnes and the main species were turbot, mullet, sea bass, sea bream and eel.

In Albania there are 247 natural lakes with a total surface area of 1,210 sq. km. Fishing takes place mostly in Shkodra, Ohrid, Great Prespa, and Small Prespa. There are also five artificial lakes, Fierza, Koman, Van Dejes and Ulza and a few hundred water-reservoirs. The main species caught are carp, eel, bleak, an endemic species of trout and mullet. About 800 fishers using gillnets, beach nets and hooks, are active in these inland waters.

Aquaculture
Fish farmers use different cultivation techniques, intensive, semi intensive, and extensive to grow primarily trout, molluscs, and carp. These species are grown in water-reservoirs, artificial and natural lakes and coastal lagoons. In 2012, total aquaculture production was 2 010 tonnes of which mollusc production was 760 tonnes.

Marine cage culture activities are concentrated in the Ionian Sea where 26 operators farm gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata) and European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax). Mollusc (Mytilus galloprovincialis) cultivation is concentrated in the Butrinti lagoon with some activity also in the open sea at Shengjini Bay (around 100 ha with floating lines).

Trout farming is concentrated in the southeast of Albania, where about 60 companies have their facilities. Most of them try to hold down costs by allowing the fish to reproduce naturally. Cultivation of the endemic fish koran (Salmo letnica) is restricted to the area near lake Ohrid. A few hatcheries are involved in the cultivation of common carp (Cyprinus carpio), Chinese carps such as grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus), bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis) and silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) for restocking purposes.

Fish processing
There are 6 fish processing companies in Albania. Four of them produce anchovy, sardine and other small pelagic species for export, while two companies specialise in frozen fish products.

Trade
In 2012, the volume of exported fish products and prepared fish and seafood was 4.7 million tonnes with value of EUR28.3 million. Imports of fish and seafood amounted to 9.3 million tonnes with value of EUR 21.9 million.
Although the trade balance in fishery products in value terms is positive, in volume terms it is negative. Low volumes of high value fishery products are exported, while imports are dominated by lower value seafood products. Most imports originate from Italy and Spain (20% and 29%, respectively). Import volumes from Norway have decreased and from Germany have increased. The main destinations for Albanian exports are Italy (80% of the total volume) followed by Greece (14%) and Macedonia (2.5%).

Consumption
About 30% of the population in Albania prefers aquaculture products. In general, the prices for inland fish species (carps) are lower than the price for marine fish species. Farmed trout is sold only on the domestic market, while marine fish is destined also for the EU market and Balkan countries.

Latest news about Albania in the Eurofish Magazine


Useful Links for Albania


Fisheries

Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Water Management   (Albanian)
Ministry of Environment  (Albanian)

Information in English

Informaion on Albania

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