Iceland is ranked 19th on the list of the world’s largest fishing nations in 2010, according to new figures just out from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Iceland maintained its second place ranking among European countries with 1,063,467 tons, down by 0.8 percent from the previous year.
The world catch amounted to 89.5 million tons in 2010, down by 0.75 percent, or one million tons, from last year’s report. The greatest volume was caught in the Pacific Ocean with Peruvian anchovy making up the greatest volume.
China topped the list as the world’s biggest fishing nation with around one third of the world’s catch and Norway, the biggest fishing nation in Europe, ranked tenth.
Although Asia has the highest concentration of people employed in the primary sector, the average annual production per person is only 2.4 tons compared to almost 24 tons in Europe. In the aquaculture sector, the differences are even greater with average annual production in India just 2 tons per person compared to 172 tons in Norway.
According to FAO, the numbers reflect the degree of industrialization of fishing activities and the key social role played by small-scale fisheries.
Around 40 percent of total world fish production was sold fresh and 41 percent frozen, cured or otherwise prepared for human consumption with the rest going to fishmeal and fish oil.
Fish provides 16 percent of the global population’s intake of animal protein.