A large share of world production of aquatic animals of around 120 million tons per year enters international marketing channels. Since more than 90% of this trade consists of processed products in one form or other and in general represents products from the higher value segments, a comparison on a quantitative basis such as live weight equivalent is not meaningful. The increase of total world trade in products from fisheries and aquaculture from about US$ 8 000 million in 1976 to over US$ 50 000 million in 1998 is very impressive and since 1993 a variable, but more or less equal sharing between developed and developing countries can be noticed. The economic benefit of trade in fishery products for developing countries may be illustrated further by the net exports achieved by them. With over US$ 16 000 million they are higher than for meat, tea, bananas and coffee together.
However, there is a distinct difference with regard to countries of origin and countries of destination. OECD countries are the principal destination of trade and only 15% go to developing countries. (As already indicated, the origin of exports is split between developed and developing countries).
Ruckes, E. Evolution of the International Regulatory Framework Governing International Trade in Fishery Products. In: Microbehavior and Macroresults: Proceedings of the Tenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade, July 10-14, 2000, Corvallis, Oregon, USA. Compiled by Richard S. Johnston and Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET), Corvallis, 2001.