POLAND - In 2014, Poland's total fish catch was 170,500 MT, which included the Baltic Sea and long-distance fisheries. Fish catch in 2014 was 13 per cent lower than in 2013. Aquaculture production increased however, with production reaching 38,000 MT in 2014, an eight per cent increase compared to 2013.
Total amount of Baltic Sea catch in 2014 was 118,500 MT, a 12 per cent decrease compared to 2013.
The main species caught were European sprat (58,600 MT), Atlantic herring (28,100 MT) and Atlantic cod (13,000 MT). The total amount of catch in the long-distance fisheries amounted to 52,100 MT, a 15 per cent decrease compared to 2013.
The main deep sea activity areas were on South Eastern Atlantic and North Eastern Atlantic fishing grounds.
Aquaculture production is situated in land-based freshwater farms and is carried out in traditional earth ponds in two or three year cycles. In 2014 total national aquaculture production reached 38,000 MT, an eight per cent increase compared to 2013.
The biggest category is carp production which in 2014 amounted to 19,000 MT and made up over 50 per cent of total aquaculture output in 2014.
Carp farming is carried out in in earth ponds on traditional land-based farms. The total registered area of carp farms in the country is about 70,000 hectares, the largest in Europe. The output of rainbow trout in 2014 was 15,000 MT in 2014.
The development of trout farming in Poland started at the end of 1990s, and production has been stagnating over the past few years. Trout production is carried out in intensive fish production facilities and trout is harvested when it reaches the size of about 200-450g.
Trout farms are located in the North, on the Baltic Sea coast, and in the south, in the Carpathian foothills.
Recently, Poland has started developing more intensive land-based aquaculture and several investors have launched new businesses in the field of controlled breeding of marine or freshwater fish in indoor RAS technology (trout, sturgeon, salmon, tilapia, and barramundi).
The newly established European Fisheries Fund (EFF) for projects in Poland allocated an amount of €734 million in the period until 2020. This fund launches new financial instruments for projects within aquaculture.
The Polish fish processing industry is one of the largest in Europe. It supplies European countries with processed fish products such as smoked fish (salmon and trout), canned fish (herring, mackerel and sprat) and ready-to-eat fish products (salads and fish in marinades).
Other products include fresh and frozen cod fillets, ready-to-prepare frozen fish fillets (breaded fillets), freshwater and diadromous fish (pike-perch), and fresh and frozen whole fish (trout, sprat).
In 2014 the overall output of the Polish fish processing industry amounted to 456,000 MT, worth PLN 8.5 billion ($ 2.3 billion).
There are 250 processing plants eligible for export to the European Union and several hundred small, often family run companies, permitted to sell products only to regional markets - these are e.g. small processing plants next to fisheries. In 2014 the industry employed approximately 12,000 people.
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TheFishSite News Desk