Fish exports declining

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
6 August 2007, at 1:00am

YEMEN - The volume of Yemeni fish exported to other countries during the first quarter of this year declined from 20,806 tons to 19,806 in 2006, said Mahmoud al-Saghari, the Minister of Fisheries Wealth.

The value of the exported fish and seafood during January through March 2007 totaled $48 million, whereas in the same period of last year it totaled $61 million. Fish products were exported to 38 countries, says an official report issued by the Ministry of Fisheries Wealth.

Saudi Arabia was the biggest importer, importing $22 million worth of seafood from January through March 2007. China was second; importing $7 million worth of seafood during the same period. In third place, was Frasnce, which imported $3.5 million. Egypt imported $3.4 million, and the rest of the marekt was distributed among other countries.

More than 46 percent of fish products are fresh fish, although the ministry prevents the export of eight types of fish because of Yemeni demand. Yemen requires much investment in the fisheries sector, especially in the storage of seafood or frozen fish products.

“We have these projects in three governorates; Hadhramout, Aden, and al-Hodeidah. Yemen needs similar projects in six governorates, in addition to the Socotra Island,” said al-Saghari.

The production of fish totals 250,000 tons, annually, while Yemen’s storage capacity for fish is just 20,000 tons. The sector also achieved a 20 percent growth in productivity, which exceeded expectations of the country's Second Five-Year Plan for Development 2001-2005.

Production increased by 17 percent, to 41,500 tons and the fisheries sector ranked second in terms of contributions to the GDP. Around 70 percent of the production of fish was earmarked for the domestic market. Fish consumption per person has increased to 12 kilograms last year, compared with the nine kilograms reported in 2005.

Source: Yemen Observer