In 2021, landings of fish by Belgian vessels decreased by 5.5% compared to 2020. In total, 11.901 tonnes of fish were sold in Belgian ports. Landings accounted for a turnover of 60.8 million euros or an increase of 7.8%. This is due to the higher average price of 5.1 euros per kg, an increase of 13.3% compared to 2020.
The Belgian sea fishing industry thus shows a clear recovery in 2021 after a strongly divergent 2020. In that year, as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, both exports and sales to local markets and the horeca sector were severely disrupted.
Port of Zeebrugge’s share increases
Landings in the port of Zeebrugge recovered in 2021. Zeebrugge accounts for 55.7% of the total quantity of fish landed and sold. The share of the port of Ostend decreased from 44.6% to 41.9%. The port of Nieuwpoort has a limited share of 2.4%.
Half of the fish landed is sole
Sole remains the flagship of the Belgian sea fishing industry. The slightly reduced landings of sole (-3.4%) caused a price increase of 11.9%. The fish thus continues to account for half of the turnover achieved in the Belgian sea fishing industry.
Plaice ranks second, although landings fell by 7.3% in 2021. The better price (+9.1%) ensured that the turnover of this fish was maintained as well.
Landings of ray fell by 17.1%, but the price recovered to 2.6 euros per kg.