Sea fishing

Coronavirus crisis caused turnover decrease in Belgian sea fishing industry

Agriculture & fishery
Coronavirus crisis caused turnover decrease in Belgian sea fishing industry

In 2020, landings of fish by Belgian vessels decreased by 7.8 % compared to 2019. In total, 12,588 tonnes of fish were sold in Belgian ports. Landings accounted for a turnover of 56.4 million euros. The decrease in turnover remained limited to 4.6 %. This is due to the slightly higher average price per kg: 4.5 €/kg, an increase of 4.7 % compared to 2019. The year 2020 was very different in the fishing industry. Both exports and sales to local markets and the horeca sector were disturbed by the Covid-19 crisis.

Ostend recovers

Landings in the port of Ostend recovered in 2020. It accounts for 44.6 % of the total quantity of fish landed and sold. The share of the port of Zeebrugge decreased from 58.2 % to 52.9 %. The port of Nieuwpoort has a share of 2.6 %, like in 2019.

Half of the fish landed is sole

Sole remains the flagship of the Belgian sea fishing industry. In 2020, landings of sole increased by 17.5 %. This fish accounts for half of the turnover achieved in the Belgian sea fishing industry.

Plaice ranks second, although landings fell by 40.4 % in 2020, i.e. a turnover decrease of 8.5 %.

We also noticed an increase in landings of ray, with 11.2 % more landings. Shrimps register a sharp decrease of 38.7 %. The price for shrimps recovered to 5.2 €/kg on average.

Table 1
Content

Fish landed by Belgian ships and sold in Belgium

Fish landed by Belgian ships and sold in Belgium 2000 2005 2010 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 Evolution 2020/2019
Quantity of fish sold (in tonnes) 17,469 18,786 15,548 18,158 16,635 16,648 14,766 13,659 12,588 -7.8%
Value of fish sold (in million euros) 63 78 65 67 65 67 63 59 56 -4.6%
* Source: Statbel (Directorate-General Statistics - Statistics Belgium) based on the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries of the Flemish public authority, AVKD.
Table 2
Content
Traded quantity (in tonnes) 2000 2005 2010 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 Evolution 2020/2019
Codfish 1,697 1,589 588 1,068 440 478 429 353 264 -25.2%
Whiting 424 298 237 252 279 178 195 165 198 20.0%
Plaice 4,929 4,123 3,835 5,842 5,345 5,417 4,548 3,630 2,162 -40.4%
Sole 3,488 3,854 3,419 2,734 2,197 1,955 1,825 2,041 2,399 17.5%
Turbot 284 297 272 360 401 436 316 267 242 -9.4%
Lemon sole 640 1,040 532 706 501 524 489 448 348 -22.3%
Ray 1,114 1,810 1,253 1,205 1,005 1,023 1,022 1,254 1,395 11.2%
Shrimps 325 436 611 325 444 342 830 509 312 -38.7%
* Source: Statbel (Directorate-General Statistics - Statistics Belgium) based on the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries of the Flemish public authority, AVKD.
Table 3
Content
Average price in EUR/kg 2000 2005 2010 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 Evolution 2020/2019
Codfish 2.6 2.6 3.3 2.7 3.2 3.0 2.7 3.2 2.9 -9.4%
Whiting 1.0 1.1 0.9 1.2 1.1 1.2 1.1 1.2 1.1 -8.3%
Plaice 1.7 1.9 1.2 1.5 1.6 1.9 2.4 2.4 2.2 -8.3%
Sole 8.3 10.1 10.5 10.4 11.4 11.5 12.1 12.7 11.8 -7.1%
Turbot 9.6 11.6 11.0 10.3 9.5 9.8 11.2 11.5 10.2 -11.3%
Lemon sole 4.2 4.0 4.4 5.7 5.2 5.2 4.9 3.9 3.7 -5.1%
Ray 1.9 1.7 2.2 2.1 2.4 2.4 2.2 1.9 1.8 -5.3%
Shrimps 4.4 3.0 2.5 5.0 7.1 7.4 3.8 3.5 5.2 48.6%
* Source: Statbel (Directorate-General Statistics - Statistics Belgium) based on the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries of the Flemish public authority, AVKD.

Purpose and brief description

Quantity and value of the fish landed and traded in Belgium. Distribution according to the ports of supply and the fish species

Population

All sea fishing boats

Frequency

Monthly

Timing publication

Results available 3 months after the reference period.

Definitions

Total amount kg : Quantity of fish supplied and traded

Total value EUR : Value of fish supplied and traded

Metadata