Poland's fish catch increasing, aquaculture production down
Fish catch in 2015 was eight percent higher than in 2014. Total amount of Baltic Sea catch in 2015 was 134,717 MT, a 14 percent increase compared to 2014.
The main species caught were European sprat (64,175 MT), Atlantic herring (39,712 MT) and European flounder (13,617 MT).
The total catch in the long-distance fisheries amounted to 48,992 MT, a six percent decrease compared to 2014. The main deep sea activity areas were in South Eastern Atlantic and North Eastern Atlantic fishing grounds.
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 2015 the overall output of the Polish fish processing industry amounted to 468,900 MT, worth PLN 9.1 billion (US$ 2.4 billion).
There are 262 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 2015 the industry employed approximately 12,000 people.
Aquaculture production is situated in land-based freshwater farms and is carried out in traditional earth ponds in 2 or 3-year cycles.
In 2015 total national aquaculture production reached 38,000 MT, a five percent decrease compared to 2014.
The decrease of production of carp and trout in 2015 stemmed from shortages of water caused by deteriorating hydrologic situation caused by climate change especially in Wielkopolska and Lublin provinces.
The biggest category is carp production which in 2015 amounted to 17,750 MT and made up almost 50 percent of total aquaculture output in 2015. 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 2015 was 15,800 MT. 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. ■