FISH INDUSTRY OF GREECE
Fishing is an ancient practice dating back to at least the Upper Paleolithic Age about 40,000 years ago. Fishing scenes are presented in Ancient Greek art, dating back to the 5th century B.C. Historian and biographer Plutarch refers to texts for fishermen as well as the famous ancient writer Homer, who reported fish as being an excellent food in the Iliad and Odyssey.
Greek fishing has been identified with the particular coastal and island character of the country and people's lives.
Fishing is an important pillar of primary production, contributing significantly to the Greek domestic product (GDP). The importance and participation of catches in the country's GDP is more than twice as high (> 0.60%) than its contribution to EU-27 GDP (0.26%).
Approximately 30,000-33,000 people are employed directly or indirectly in fishing, particularly in island regions.
The Greek seas have recorded a total of 476 fish species (Fishbase, IMAS-Fish, Lambropoulou 2007), of which around 90 marine species are caught. Of these most commercial species are sardines, anchovies, cod, mullet, red snapper, plaice etc.
Despite the introduction of new technology in fisheries, the majority of Greek fishermen continue to fish using traditional methods using small fishing vessels of 6-12 meters. The Greek fishing fleet of around 17,000 vessels is the first in number of vessels in the EU-27, 7th in terms of tonnage.
Fisheries are distinguished according to the area of sea fishing and inland fishing (river lakes). Extension of fishing is fish farming or aquaculture, ie fish production in fish farms.
The catches are transported and marketed as fresh or after processing into canned or in different cans or plastic containers. In Greece the annual per capita consumption is 21 kg, relative to the average annual per capita world consumption at 17.8 Kg in 2007.
COLLECTIVE FISHING - As far as the quantities produced are concerned, in our country, like most countries, there is relatively stable production with a slight but downward trend due to the growing problem of the depletion of marine stocks. Thus, production in the last decade ranges from 90,000-80,000 a year.
AQUACULTURE - Over the last two decades, there has been strong growth in the fish farming sector in our country, which has a strong export orientation since more than 80% of production is exported. The production of fish from fish farms has reached levels of over 120,000 tonnes, with 311 units of production. In 2009, exports of sea bream and sea bass were over 100,000 tonnes.
CATCHING PROCESSING - The fish processing industry has a remarkable contribution to the food industry because it transforms a high nutritional value but a fragile product into other forms that can be consumed at a later time. The end product thus gains added value, the industry contributes to the national economy. Greece's processing plants were originally developed in areas close to large coastal fishing centers (Thessaloniki, Kavala, Mytilene, Volos Evia) mainly engaged in the production of fish and canned fish. But also due to other conditions and nutrition in frozen products, fillets, smoked, and others. The processing troughs are 152 and have total freezing and processing production of 44,940 tons according to the 2011 census.