Aquaculture and fish farming, in particular, is one of the most important sectors of the primary livestock production in Greece due to its contribution to the economic development and social cohesion of the country. It is worth noting that in 1980 only 2% of the Greek supply of fishery products came from aquaculture (2,000 tons) and the remaining 98% from fishing (105,651 tons). These numbers have changed and, according to the latest FAO data, 63% of Greek production currently comes from aquaculture and only 37% from fishing.
This activity has become one of the most competitive for the Greek economy, which maintains one of the leading positions in the production of Mediterranean fish at both European and international level. According to the 2020 annual report published by The Federation of Greek Maricultures, currently, in Greece there are more than 300 fish farming units with production exceeding 100,000 tons. Greek fish farming represents 59% of the EU sea bream and sea bass production and almost 23% of global production. For the year 2020, projections indicate that sea bream and sea bass production in Greece will reach 117,000 tons, that is approximately 3% less than in 2019. However, insiders suggest that this number will most likely change due to the still undefined effects of COVID-19.
Greek Aquaculture in a nutshell (2020)*
- In 2019, total aquaculture production reached 149,975 tons with a value of €564.6 million, which is 2% more in terms of volume and approximately 5% more in terms of value compared to the previous year.
- The industry creates 12,000 direct and indirect jobs mainly in coastal or remote areas.
Finfish and shellfish are the main groups of produced species, which make up 85% and 15% respectively of the total production volume.
- In 2019, sea bream and sea bass production amounted to 120,500 tons, showing a 3% increase compared to the previous year.
- Greek sea bream and sea bass exports in 2019 amounted to 86,568 tons, of which 95% was channeled to EU markets.
- In 2020, sea bream and sea bass production is expected to reach 117,000 tons.
*Source: The Federation of Greek Maricultures