Fishing Italy is the most important country for Tunisian fish exports – The fishing sector in Tunisia is of considerable economic and employment importance, being a country with a long fishing tradition and a vast coastal area on the Mediterranean Sea. Fishing is one of the country’s main economic activities, with an annual production of around 120,000 tonnes of fish and seafood.
The country exports a wide range of fish products, including prawns, squid, tuna and sardines, to international markets such as Italy, Spain and France. Furthermore, the fishing sector in Tunisia is one of the main employment sectors, with around 20,000 people working directly in the fisheries sector and another 60,000 employed in related activities such as fish processing and marketing.
Despite its importance, the fishing sector in Tunisia faces several challenges, including dwindling fish stocks due to overfishing and climate change, competition from foreign producers, and a lack of infrastructure and funding to modernise the sector. However, there are ongoing efforts to improve fisheries management, promote environmental sustainability and increase the competitiveness of the fisheries sector in Tunisia.
The relationship with Italy
According to data from the Tunisian National Observatory of Agriculture, Italy is the main importer of seafood products from Tunisia, with a 32.5% share, followed by Libya with 15.1% and Spain with 12.6%. In the period from January to October 2022, exports of crustaceans, fish and other fish products increased by 19.9% in terms of quantity and 23.5% in terms of value. The foreign trade balance of Tunisian fish recorded a positive difference of around 269.7 million dinars (€81 million) compared to the same period in 2021, or an increase of 17.8%. Exports amounted to 29,500 tonnes, worth 612 million dinars (around 184 million euro) at the end of October 2022, compared to 24,600 tonnes in the same period last year, worth around 149 million euro.
Fisheries Italy is the most important country for Tunisian fish exports