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