Finland, a country of some 5.5m people, has a per capita consumption of 14.6 kg well below the EU average of 22-23 kg. Domestic production of fish is modest – capture fisheries amounted to some 138,000 tonnes in 2013 and farmed fish to about 14,000 tonnes.
Lithuania’s inland waters are home to a number of species of which several are of commercial importance. The most important inland fishery takes place on the Curonian Lagoon, a water body separated from the Baltic sea by the Curonian Spit, but several lakes and rivers also have an inland fishery.
Lithuania’s high seas fishing fleet comprises some 12 vessels, a number which has stayed fairly stable the last few years, but which can also fluctuate depending on fishing opportunities. The fleet has been active in the Northwest and the North East Atlantic, the South Pacific, the EU Western Waters, as well as in the Svalbard fishing area, and the exclusive economic zones (EEZ) of Mauritania, Senegal, Guinea, Morocco, and Greenland.
Lithuanian aquaculture production is predominantly common carp, which amounts to about nine tenths of the output. The remainder comprises a number of species including rainbow trout, other carp varieties, sturgeon, eel, and catfish that are grown in different production systems. Further down the value chain sales of live fish are being replaced with more value-added products in response to changes in consumer demand.
The fish processing sector in Lithuania is based mainly on imported raw materials which are converted into a variety of products both for domestic consumption and for export. Some companies are also using locally-caught and locally-farmed fish to add variety to the range of products they manufacture.
Fisheries plays an important role in the economies of coastal regions throughout Europe. It is therefore vital to exploit the oceans’ aquatic resources sustainably to avoid the depletion of fish stocks, a rusting fishing fleet, unemployed fishermen and seafood shortages.
The Lithuanian fisheries sector has a long historical traditions and is a part of the national heritage in the Baltic Sea coast area. The segment comprises a high seas fleet, a Baltic Sea fleet, and a coastal fleet. There is also a small freshwater fishery in the Curonian lagoon. The aquaculture industry in Lithuania is dynamic and the production of farmed fish has been increasing in terms of both value and volume.
Lina Kujalyte, Vice Minister in the Lithuanian Ministry of Agriculture has been responsible for aspects of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy that are only now being implemented, for example, the landing obligation, which in the Baltic Sea came into force at the start of the year. Lithuania also held the chair of BALTFISH, an organisation that brings stakeholders from EU countries around the Baltic Sea together to work out common positions on policies concerning the Baltic. Ms Kujalyte is also a strong proponent of aquaculture, a sector which will receive the largest chunk of funding from Lithuania’s allocation from the EMFF. Here she discusses some of her priorities for the fisheries sector in the country.
Camli is part of the Yasar Group, a holding company with interests in a variety of industries including food and beverages, agriculture, paints, and paper. Within the group Camli is responsible for agriculture, livestock, fisheries, and feed. The company farms seabass, seabream and small quantities of meagre, which are mainly exported to markets in the EU.
While Turkey is now well known for its seabass and seabream farming operations, production from which exceeds even that of Greece, the country also has a huge trout industry. Annual volumes of trout dwarf those of seabass and seabream and amount to almost three fifths of total EU trout production.