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Trade in Fish and Fishery Products












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    Policy brief
    The importance of international trade for fisheries and aquaculture products 2023
    As a result of economic growth, technological advances and trade liberalization, the integration of the fisheries and aquaculture sector into international markets has brought many benefits. These include a more efficient allocation of resources, a wider choice of products for consumers, improved access to fish and seafood, and greater development opportunities, particularly for the most vulnerable countries and populations. The fisheries and aquaculture industry has grown in recent decades, making aquatic products increasingly important for human livelihoods and subsistence, as well as for nutrition, providing protein and macronutrients. Since the 1960s, per capita consumption of edible fish has increased from 9.0 kg in 1961 to 20.2 kg in 2020. Today, fisheries and aquaculture products are among the most widely traded food commodities in the world, contributing significantly to economic growth in several developing countries, providing economic opportunities and a source of export earnings. Total production of aquatic products has increased significantly from 71.9 million tonnes (live weight equivalent) in 1990 to 185.5 million tonnes in 2023, and global exports of aquatic products have increased from 21 million tonnes to 68 million tonnes (projected). In 2022, trade in fisheries and aquaculture products will account for approximately 1 percent of global trade, valued at USD 190 billion, making it one of the most extensively traded commodities in the world. This policy brief discusses the importance of fisheries and aquaculture, provides an overview of key statistics on fisheries and aquaculture products, including on production and trade, and assesses the importance of small-scale fisheries.
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    Harmonized border fisheries inspectors guide for promotion of regional fish trade in Eastern-Southern Africa 2015
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    Fisheries are one of the most significant renewable resources that Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) and Indian Ocean (IO) countries have for food security, livelihoods and economic growth. Efforts however, need to be made to ensure that as the population in these countries grows, and demand for food and employment likewise grows, the benefits that fishery resources provide, are protected through sustainable management and value-addition. The IOC-led Program for the Implementation of a Regional Fisheries Strategy for the ESA-IO region (IRFS) [SMARTFISH] was launched in February 2011 with the aim of contributing to an increased level of social, economic and environmental development and regional integration in the region through the sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources. Underpinning the Program is the harmonization of the region’s strategies and the strengthening of regional integration especially in partnership with COMESA, EAC and IGAD. The ultimate beneficiaries are fisher men, coastal communities and wider populations in Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In terms of trade, the traditional focus on large international trading blocks and fostering trade from Africa to these blocks, has meant less attention has been paid to developing regional trade, which is thought to have great potentia l and consequently is a key focus of the program. Some of the most pressing issues facing regional fisheries trade relate to trade barriers in both regional and domestic markets. Average import tariffs for example between countries in the region are generally much higher than in developed countries and are thought to have weakened intra-regional trade significantly. Non-tariff barriers include challenges with border controls and documentation requirements which reduce competitiveness through inc reased costs to exporters. This document is the products of a regional initiative involving fisheries experts from seven countries: DR Congo, Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Based on the core principles of food inspection as well as internationally recognized best practices for safe and wholesome food, the guide promotes the recommendations of the Codex Alimentarius Commission and the UN FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. It provides the necessary administrative and procedural guidelines for the preparation and execution of official controls by Border Fisheries Inspectors and we anticipate it will be an important resource for regional economic communities such as
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    The impact of changes in the fundamental drivers of trade – Productivity, trade costs, and trade policies
    Background paper for The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets (SOCO) 2022
    2022
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    Countries’ varying natural resource endowments are vital in explaining international trade. Traditional trade theory suggests that differences in technology and factor endowments lead countries to specialize and export certain goods or services in which they have a comparative advantage. The computable general equilibrium (CGE) model simulations used in this paper aim to explain agricultural trade patterns and show how agricultural trade would change in response to productivity, infrastructure and institutions improvements and trade cost changes from regional and global trade liberalization. A set of nine scenarios is used to explore the effects of productivity, transport costs, non-tariff barriers (NTB), and border measures changes on agricultural and food trade and related welfare implications. Policies driving agricultural productivity growth such as investments in research and development, economic reforms that strengthen incentives for farmers, rural education and extension, and improved infrastructure are shown to reduce the yield gap and improve productivity. Lower trade costs help comparative advantage play out, resulting in gains from trade. Measures taken to increase trade integration in Africa and Asia will be important for economic growth and development in these regions.

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