Spain - Fishing
Fishing is important, especially along the northern coastline. The Spanish fishing fleet is the largest within the European Union (EU). In mid-1996, the fleet totaled 18,323 vessels with a gross tonnage of about 506,738 tons. Some 17,300 vessels fish in EU waters, and 979 in international or third country waters (mostly in Moroccan territorial waters). The fishing industry employs about 80,000 sailors and 400,000 laborers, and contributed 1% to GDP in 1995.
In 2001, the total quantity of fish caught by Spanish vessels and landed in Spanish ports amounted to 932,000 tons (including non-edible fish). The main species landed in 2000 were (in thousands of tons): sardines, 81; yellowfin tuna, 57.2; skipjack tuna, 95.9; and anchovies, 28.1.
The most common species processed by the Spanish canning industry are: tuna, mussels, sardines, white tuna, cephalopod, mackerel, and anchovy. In 2000, Spain exported 99.9 million tons of canned fish, valued at $293.4 million. Exports of crustaceans and mollusks that year were 149.9 million tons, worth $392 million.
The main aquacultural commodities are mussels, trout, oysters, clams, and gilthead bream. Mussel production began in 1940 in northwestern Spain, and today there are thousands of floating mollusk beds found in many Spanish bays. Trout farming began in 1960, and is located in the north and northwest. In 2001, aquacultural production included 250,000 tons of mussels and 34,000 tons of trout. Spain is the world's second leading producer of mussels after China.