Population: 38.6 million (2015 est. World Factbook)
GDP: € 883 billion (2014 est. World Factbook)
GDP/capita: € 23,184 (2014 est. World Factbook)
Capture: 169,775 tonnes live weight (2014, Eurostat)
Aquaculture: 33,336 tonnes live weight (2014, Eurostat)
Export value: € 1.3 billion (2013, Eurostat)
Import value: €1.4 billion (2013, Eurostat)
Overview of the Polish fisheries and aquaculture sector (Currently under review)
The Polish fleet consists of two major segments, the Baltic and long-distance fisheries. In 2012, the total catch of the Polish fishing fleet was nearly 180 000 tonnes. Of this, the total amount of Baltic Sea landings was 120 000 tonnes, with a landed value of EUR 56 million. In terms of volume, the main species caught were European sprat (63 100 tonnes), Atlantic herring (27 100 tonnes) and Atlantic cod (14 800 tonnes). Atlantic cod generated the highest landed value in Baltic fisheries (EUR 17.8 million), followed by European sprat (EUR 14.6 million), Atlantic herring (EUR 12.1 million) and European flounder (EUR 4.6 million). The total amount of landings in the deep sea amounted to 59 000 tonnes, a 15% decrease compared to 2011. The main factor causing the decrease in deep sea catches were the termination of fleet activity on Antarctic Atlantic fishing grounds and the cessation of fishing for Chilean jack mackerel in the Pacific Ocean (outside the Chilean EEZ).
In 2012, the national fleet consisted of 805 active and 38 inactive registered vessels, with a combined gross tonnage of 34 000 GT, a total power of 83 000 kW and an average age of 28 years. Between 2008 and 2012, the number of vessels decreased 9% and GT and kW decreased 26% and 23%, respectively. This is due to the decommissioning programme implemented in the country after the EU accession, as well as the Fishing Effort Adjustment Plan adopted in 2010. The Polish small-scale fleet consisted of 556 registered vessels, with a combined gross tonnage of 2 700 GT, a total power of 21 400 kW and an average age of 21 years. The inland fisheries production from the country’s 270 000 ha of lakes was approximately 2 142 tonnes, of which bream was the main species (724 tonnes), followed by pike (273 tonnes), roach (247 tonnes), vendace (207 tonnes), perch (150 tonnes), tench (148 tonnes) and other species.
Processing and trade
Over the past decade, the Polish fish processing sector has gone through considerable transformation, and at present, it is one of the largest in Europe. It plays a major role in supplying European countries with processed fish products such as smoked fish (mainly salmon and trout), canned fish (herring, mackerel and sprat) and ready-to-eat fish products (salads and fish in marinades). Other products include fresh and frozen cod fillets, ready-to-prepare frozen fish fillets (breaded fillets), freshwater and diadromous fish (pike-perch), and fresh and frozen whole fish (trout, sprat). At present, the Polish fish processing industry produces 450 000 tonnes annually, resulting in a gross turnover of EUR 2.2 billion. The industry employed approximately 12 300 people in 2012.
Poland is one of the biggest salmon importers in the world, importing 125 000 tonnes from Norway alone in 2013. In total, Poland imported 434 672 tonnes of fish and seafood for a value of EUR 1.3 billion in 2013. Compared to 2012, there was a 6.5% increase in volume and a 32% increase in value. Norway was the main supplier of fish as raw materials to Poland, while other significant partners include Sweden, China, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and other countries.
In the same year Poland exported 170 320 tonnes of fish and seafood products valued EUR 907 million growing 6% in volume and 16% in value terms compared to 2012. 90% of the exported volume was sent to European countries, with Germany the main destination, importing over 60 000 tonnes of value-added fish and seafood products. Other main export countries were Denmark, France, Sweden, the UK and Romania.
The Polish aquaculture sector, has a long history in the country, with the first records of activity around the 12th century. The oldest fish farms are located on the Polish territories of Osiek, Zator, Przygodzie and Lyszkowice, and despite the fact that these farms are at least 8 to 10 centuries old, they are still functional with ongoing fish production. In Poland, fish farming is represented exclusively by land-based freshwater farms and is carried out in traditional earth ponds in 2 or 3-year cycle, a system which is limited to very few Central and Eastern European countries.
In 2012, the total national aquaculture production reached 33 226 tonnes, an increase of 14% compared to 2011. The biggest sector is carp production, which made up 60% of the output in 2012 and was the main reason for the increase in the total aquaculture production in the same year. Carp farming is carried out in the traditional land-based farms in earth ponds. The total registered area of carp farms in the country is about 70 000 hectares, the largest in Europe.
Rainbow trout is the second most important species in Polish aquaculture, with an output of 10 724 tonnes in 2012. Compared to carp, rainbow trout farming is a nascent industry in the country, dating back to the 20th century. The active development of trout farming started at the end of 1990s, and production has been stagnating over the past few years. Trout production is carried out in intensive fish production facilities and trout is harvested when it reaches the size of about 200-450g. Trout farms are located in the north, on the Baltic Sea coast, and in the south, in the Carpathian foothills.
In 2012, the average annual fish consumption in Poland was 11.8kg/capita, significantly below the average 22 kg/capita in the EU. National authorities are undertaking a series of measures to increase fish consumption, targeting young consumers. For example, the government launched a fish promotion campaign “Fish influences all”, “Mr. Carp”, “Fish products from Poland”, ‘Trout now”. There were also information leaflets for “Practical hints for fish consumers” and support for projects promoting fish consumption.
Despite a large variety of imported species, sales of domestic fish keep growing. Carp is the most traditional national species. It is served during Christmas period in Poland, when the market supply of carp is at the highest level. Recently, producers have been trying to extend the carp-selling season, providing value-added carp products all year round and supporting sales with advertising campaigns. At present, the annual average consumption of carp is 0.45 kg/person, and it faces little competition from other species. Rainbow trout is another popular domestic species with 0.42 kg/capita consumption in 2012. Trout sales are also supported by promotional campaigns targeting Polish consumers.
There is a growing awareness among Polish consumers. They are choosing fish products with more care and attention, are getting information about products, and are benefiting from campaigns promoting consumption and the health benefits of fish and seafood.
Useful Links for Poland
Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development http://www.minrol.gov.pl/eng
National Marine Fisheries Research Institute http://www.sfi.gdynia.pl/
Inland Fisheries Institute http://www.infish.com.pl/
Polish Association of Fish Processors http://www.pspr.pl/
“Mister Carp" from Polish ponds http://www.pankarp.pl/angielski.html
Trout Producers Association http://www.sprl.pl/
Polish Fish Market Development Association http://srrr.org.pl
Institute of Agricultural and Food Economics http://www.ierigz.waw.pl/
Poland – Official promotional website of the Republic of Poland http://en.poland.gov.pl/
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