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Romania_mapCapital: Bucharest
Population: 21.79 million (2014 est. World FactBook)
GDP: €203 billion (2013 est.)
GDP/capita: €9,556 (2013 est.)


Fish production:
   Capture: 811 tonnes live weight (2012)
   Aquaculture: 10 005 tonnes live weight (2012)
   Export value: € 23.5 million (2013, Eurostat)
   Import value: € 160.7 million (2013, Eurostat)


Overview of the Romanian fisheries and aquaculture sector

Romania is a medium sized country with an area of 238 391 km2, of which 3,5% of the total surface, 843 710 ha are inland waters, including natural lakes and artificial water bodies. The areas which are of interest for fisheries activities are estimated at 500 000 ha stagnating waters, 66 000 km of running waters (in the mountain, hill and plain areas) and marine waters - 25 000 km2 the Black Sea Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ). The Romanian Black Sea coastline is 256 km long. There are a number of significant rivers: the Danube (1 075 km), the Mures (761km) and the Prut (742km).

Fisheries, aquaculture, as well as processing, distribution and trade activities are present in all the regions of the country. Romanian commercial fisheries production stems from the Black Sea, inland fishing, and aquaculture. Fisheries and aquaculture Gross Value Added (GVA) is 0,0049% and the sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is estimated at 0,0086% (2008).

Fisheries and aquaculture are of particularly importance in the remote areas, where they represent the only source of income for the local population.

Marine fishing
Marine fishing takes place exclusively in the Romanian Black Sea national waters. The national fishing fleet is almost entirely represented by the small scale fishery, i.e. vessels less than 12m length and it employs 467 fishermen. In 2012 it consisted of 143 active vessels (of which 4 over 12m long), of 455 tonnes and ca. 4 600 kW.

The fleet targets particularly small pelagic species, such as Black Sea shad and European sprat. In addition, it fishes flatfish (turbot), some shark/dogfish and, more recently, a large sea snail - Thomas’ rapa whelk. The available quantities of European sprat and turbot are subject to the EC TAC (Total Allowable Catches). The fishing activity is seasonal and is dependent on the weather conditions in the Black Sea, where there are large differences of temperature between winter and summer, as well as strong winds.

In 2012 the marine catches and landings were of 811 tonnes and almost EUR 1 mil, of which the main species (in volume) were:  Thomas' rapa whelk (Rapana venosa) - 73%, European sprat (Sprattus sprattus) - 11%, Black Sea shad (Alosa maeotica), turbot (Psetta maxima) – 5% and Black Sea shad (Alosa maeotica) – 3%. Of these, the most valuable species were Thomas' rapa whelk (57%) and turbot (22%). All fish landed is used for human consumption.

Inland fisheries
Commercial inland fishing takes place in rivers, ponds, reservoirs, including the Danube River, the Danube Delta and Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve. In 2012 over 2 000 fishing boats and over 4 000 fishermen were involved in inland fishing. Major commercial fisheries (99% of the vessels and 96% of the fishermen) are concentred on the Danube and its overflow areas, the Delta and some of its former lagoons.

Catches have remained stable over the past years. In 2012 they were approximately 2 600 tones. Cyprinids are by far the most represented species caught of which the most popular are: goldfish (Carassius auratus) - 38%, freshwater bream (Abramis brama) – 12%, roach (Rutilus rutilus) - 6%, common carp (Cyprinus carpio) -6%. In addition, other species were also caught:  pontic shad (Alosa pontica) – 11%, pike-perch (Stizostedion lucioperca) – 5% and wels (Silurus glanis) -4%.

Aquaculture
The Romanian aquaculture sector is predominantly freshwater and its production reached 10 000 tonnes valued at about EUR 18,14 million (2012). Aquaculture activities take place on 95 229 ha, of which 91% are fish farms and the remaining are hatcheries. There are about 200 enterprises involved in aquaculture. The large majority of species raised are of the Cyprinids family (mainly carps, European and Asian species), land base cultured, in polyculture, in an extensive or semi-intensive way. In 2012 cyprinids represented 85% in volume of total production; trout was 11% in volume and other species (e.g. pike-perch, perch, sturgeon) were 4%.

The extensive farming method has the advantage of preserving the quality of the water. Cyprinids farming is compatible with sensitive habitats and provide environmental benefits. Many farming activities are conducted in Natura 2000 sites. Recently the extensive fish farms have become multifunctional and provide other service such as: ecological tourism, recreational fishing, educational activities related to the knowledge and protection of aquatic biodiversity.

There is a trend to diversify and increase the current aquaculture activities: In 2013 the first recirculation farm for the production of turbot has become operational, which can produce 150 tonnes of fish annually. In addition, the production of organic common carp has also been initiated.

However, the certification of aquaculture products still doesn’t play any role in promoting national production. The new species production occurred in aquaculture is still low, such as sturgeon species production.

The production is offered for the domestic market, export having a low level as ratio in the sold products. Howeer, the perspectives for development of the sector are good due to the increased market demand for aquaculture of products.

Processing
In Romania there are 21 registered fish processing companies. Processing is made for both fresh water and marine species. The native species commonly used for processing are: carp, bighead carp, bream, wels, perch, pike and trout.  The most common marine species (imported) used for processing are salmon, herring, sprat and mackerel.

There is a great variety of value-added products such as salads, smoked, marinades, as well as primary processed fish (headless, gutted, portioned).

In 2012 the Romanian production of fish and seafood products was almost 12 000 tonnes and the sector employed 780 people.

Consumption
The consumption of fish and fish products in Romania is estimated at 5,5 kg/inhabitant/year (source: FAO, quantity in live weight). However, there are indications that the consumption is increasing, mainly due to the health benefits associated with the consumption of fish.

The great majority of fish and fish products are distributed and sold through hyper-and supermarkets chains. Romanians household consumption is dominated by live/fresh fish followed by frozen fish, as well as marinated and prepared products. The top three preferred species are trout, carp, and salmon.



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Fisheries
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Overview of the Romanian fisheries and aquaculture sector

Romania is a medium sized country with an area of 238.391 km2, of which 3,5% of the total surface, 843 710 ha are inland waters, including natural lakes and artificial water bodies. The areas which are of interest for fisheries activities are estimated at 500 000 ha stagnating waters, 66 000 km of running waters (in the mountain, hill and plain areas) and marine waters - 25 000 km2 the Black Sea Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ). The Romania Black Sea coastline is 256 km long. There are a number of significant: the Danube (1 075 km), the Mures (761km) and the Prut (742km).

Fisheries, aquaculture, as well as processing, distribution and trade activities are present in all the regions of the country. Romanian commercial fisheries production stems from the Black Sea, inland fishing, and aquaculture. Fisheries and aquaculture Gross Value Added (GVA) is 0,0049% and the sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is estimated at 0,0086% (2008)[i] .

Fisheries and aquaculture are of particularly importance in the remote areas, where they represent the only source of income for the local population.

 

Marine fishing

Marine fishing takes place exclusively in the Romanian Black Sea national waters. The national fishing fleet is almost entirely represented by the small scale fishery, i.e. vessels less than 12m length and it employs 467 fishermen. In 2012 it consisted of 143 active vessels (of which 4 over 12m long), of 455 tonnes and ca. 4 600 kW.

The fleet targets particularly small pelagic species, such as Black Sea shad and European sprat. In addition, it fishes flatfish (turbot), some shark/dogfish and, more recently, a large sea snail - Thomas’ rapa whelk. The available quantities of European sprat and turbot are subject to the EC TAC (Total Allowable Catches). The fishing activity is seasonal and is dependent on the weather conditions in the Black Sea, where there are large differences of temperature between winter and summer, as well as strong winds.

In 2012 the marine catches and landings were of 811 tonnes and almost EUR 1 mil, of which the main species (in volume) were:  Thomas' rapa whelk (Rapana venosa) - 73%, European sprat (Sprattus sprattus) - 11%, Black Sea shad (Alosa maeotica), turbot (Psetta maxima) – 5% and Black Sea shad (Alosa maeotica) – 3%. Of these, the most valuable species were Thomas' rapa whelk (57%) and turbot (22%). All fish landed is used for human consumption.

Inland fisheries

Commercial inland fishing takes place in rivers, ponds, reservoirs, including the Danube River, the Danube Delta and Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve. In 2012 over 2 000 fishing boats and over 4 000 fishermen were involved in inland fishing. Major commercial fisheries (99% of the vessels and 96% of the fishermen) are concentred on the Danube and its overflow areas, the Delta and some of its former lagoons.

Catches have remained stable over the past years. In 2012 they were approximately 2 600 tones. Cyprinids are by far the most represented species caught of which the most popular are: goldfish (Carassius auratus) - 38%, freshwater bream (Abramis Brama) – 12%, roach (Rutilus rutilus) - 6%, common carp (Cyprinus carpio) -6%. In addition, other species were also caught:  pontic shad (Alosa pontica) – 11%, pike-perch (Stizostedion lucioperca) – 5% and wels (Silurus glanis) -4%.

Aquaculture

The Romanian aquaculture sector is predominantly freshwater and its production reached 10 000 tonnes valued at about EUR 18,14 million (2012). Aquaculture activities take place on 95 229 ha, of which 91% are fish farms and the remaining are hatcheries. There are about 200 enterprises involved in aquaculture. The large majority of species raised are of the Cyprinids family (mainly carps, European and Asian species), land base cultured, in polyculture, in an extensive or semi-intensive way. In 2012 cyprinids represented 85% in volume of total production; trout was 11% in volume and other species (e.g. pike-perch, perch, sturgeon) were 4%.

The extensive farming method has the advantage of preserving the quality of the water, whereas the semi-intensive culture posed a minor or negligible risk to the water quality. Cyprinids farming is compatible with sensitive habitats and provide environmental benefits. Many farming activities are conducted in Natura 2000 sites. Recently the extensive fish farms have become multifunctional and provide other service such as: ecological tourism, recreational fishing, educational activities related to the knowledge and protection of aquatic biodiversity.

There is a trend to diversify and increase the current aquaculture activities: In 2013 the first recirculation farm for the production of turbot has become operational, which may produce 150 tonnes of fish annually. In addition, the production of organic common carp has also been initiated.

However, the certification of aquaculture products still doesn’t play any role in promoting national production. The new species production occurred in aquaculture is still low, such as sturgeon species production, recently introduced.

The production is offered for the domestic market, export having a low level as ratio in the sold products. However, the perspectives for development of the sector are good due to the increased market demand for aquaculture of products.

 

 

Processing

In Romania there are 21 registered fish processing companies. Processing is made for both fresh water and marine species. The native species commonly used for processing are: carp, bighead carp, bream, wels, perch, pike and trout.  The most common marine species – imported used for processing are salmon, herring, sprat and mackerel.

There is a large majority of value-added products such as salads, smoked, marinades, as well as primary processed fish (headless, gutted, portioned).

In 2012 the Romanian production was almost 12 000 tonnes and the sector employed 780 people.

Consumption

The consumption of fish and fish products in Romania is quite low, estimated at 5,5 kg/inhabitant/year (source: FAO, quantity in live weight). The great majority of fish and fish products are sold by hyper-and supermarkets chains. There is no information regarding the consumption by species and preservation/presentation.

Distributing and consumption is done mainly through supermarkets and hypermarkets through selling both imported (marine) species that are not produced in Romania, or freshwater species with low prices – creating a strong competition for local producers.


[i] Romanian Fisheries Management Authority (AMPOP)

 
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