Skip to main navigation menu Skip to main content Skip to site footer


Vol. 24 No. 3 (2022)

Commentary on Italy's international seafood trade and its impacts

ottobre 28, 2022


Being within a geographical area, EU-27, which imports a large proportion of the fish products consumed annually from abroad, Italy finds itself in a particularly critical situation; domestic production from fishing and aquaculture on the whole accounts for only 20% of consumption and even less in the case of crustaceans and cephalopods.

Despite its strong dependence on foreign countries, per capita consumption is quite high, at 31 kg/y in recent times; furthermore, among the imports from abroad there is a large number of species (or their families) mostly obtained through fishing. A wiser exploitation of national fishing resources, a greater development of domestic aquaculture and consumption patterns relying less on wild fish and shellfish are desirable.


  1. Alder, J., Campbell, B., Karpouzi, V., Kaschner, K., & Pauly, D. (2008). Forage fish: from ecosystems to markets. Annual Review Environmental Resources, (33), 153-166. doi: 10.1146/annurev.environ.33.020807.143204.
  2. Anonimo (2019). Le produzioni ittiche. In Annuario agricoltura italiana 2017 (pp. 215-245). Roma: CREA. 7acf9c5f6911?t=1579705767599.
  3. Anonymous (2020). International convention on the harmonized commodity description and coding system. OJEC, Series L, (198), 3-9.
  4. Arkhipkin, A.I. (2020). Cephalopod fisheries need regulation. Hook & Net Magazine, (7), unpaged.
  5. Barclay, K. (2012). The social in assessing sustainability: fisheries in Australia. Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Journal, (3), 38-53.
  6. Black, K., & Hughes, A. (2017). Future of the sea: trends in aquaculture. London: Government Office for Science.
  7. Brundtland, G.H. (1987). Our common future. Geneva: Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development.
  8. Cai, J., Zhou, X., Yan, X., Lucente, D. & Lagana, C. (2019). Top 10 species groups in global aquaculture 2017. Rome: FAO.
  9. CEDEPESCA (Centro Desarollo y Pesca Sustentable) (2017). Indicadores preliminares de la evolución del stock del langostino argentino.
  10. Chopin, T. (2012). Aquaculture, integrated multi-trophic (IMTA). In Encyclopedia of sustainability science and technology (pp. 542-564). Springer-Verlag.
  11. Clark, C. (2020). A review of global commercial cephalopod fishery, with focus on apparent expansion, changing environments, and management. Capstone, Nova Southeastern University.
  12. DIT (Department of Trade) (2019). Export guide: Vietnam. OMIS Report TRM 525/18. te/vietnam-export-guide/20861182.
  13. Doubleday, Z., Prowse, T.A.A., Arkhipkin, A., Pierce, G.J., Semmens, J., Steer, M., Leporati, S.C., Lourenco, S., Quetglas, A., Sauer, W., & Gillanders, B.M. (2016). Global proliferation of cephalopods. Current Biology, (26), R406-R407.
  14. Dulvy, N.K., Pacoureau, N., Rigby, C.L., Pollom, R.A., Jabado, R.W., Ebert, D.A., Finucci, B., Pollock, C.M., Cheok, J., Derrick, D.H., Herman, K.B., Sherman, S.C., Vander Wright, W.J., Lawson, J.M., Walls, R.H.L., Carlson, J.K., Charvet, P., Bineesh, K., Fernando, D., Ralph, G.M., Matsubisha, J.H., Hilton-Taylor, C., Fordham, S.V., & Simpfendorfer, C.A. (2021). Overfishing drives over one-third of all sharks and rays toward a global extinction crisis. Current Biology, (31), 4773-4787. doi: 10.1016/J.cub.2021.08.062.
  15. EEC (1987). Council regulation (EEC) No. 2658/87 of 23 July 1987 on the tariff and statistical nomenclature and on the Common customs tariff. Official Journal European Communities, (L256), 1-676.
  16. EU (2008). Council regulation (EC) No. 1005/2008 of the council of 29 September 2008 establishing a Community system to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, amending regulations (EEC) No. 2987/93, (EC) No. 1936/2001, (EC) No. 601/2004 and repealing regulation (EC) No. 93/94. Official Journal European Union, (L286), 1-32.
  17. EU (2013). Regulation (EU) No. 1379/2013 of the European parliament and of the council of December 11 2013 on the common organization of the markets in fishery and aquaculture products, amending council regulations (EC) No. 1184/2006 and (EC) No. 1224/2009 and repealing council regulation (EC) No. 1047/2000. Official Journal European Union, (L354), 1-21.
  18. EU (2017). Regulation (EU) 2017/1004 of the European parliament and of the council, of May 17 2017, on the establishment of a Union framework for the collection, management and use of data in the fisheries sector and support for scientific advice regarding the common fisheries policy and repealing council regulation (EC) No. 199/2008 (recast). Official Journal European Union, (L157), 1-21.
  19. EU (2021). Commission implementing regulation (EU) 2021/1832, of October 12 2021, amending annex I to council regulation (EEC) No. 2658/87 on the tariff and statistical nomenclature and on the common customs tariff. Official Journal European Union, (L385), 1-993.
  20. EUMOFA (2017a). The EU fish market. 2017 Ed. European Union. doi: 10.2771/455963.
  21. EUMOFA (2017b). EU consumer habits regarding fishery and aquaculture products. European Union. doi: 10.2771/179643.
  22. EUMOFA (2018). The EU fish market. 2018 Ed. European Union. doi: 10.2771/41473.
  23. EUMOFA (2019). The EU fish market. 2019 Ed. European Union. doi: 10.2771/168390.
  24. EUMOFA (2020a). Metadata 2 – Data management. Annex 7: Conversion factors by CN-8 code, from 2001 to 2021. European Union.
  25. EUMOFA (2020b). Fisheries and aquaculture in Argentina. In Country analyses. 2019 ed. (pp. 1-7).
  26. FAO. Fishery and aquaculture statistics (Fishstatj). software/fishstatj/en. FAO Fisheries & Aquaculture – Species Fact Sheets, Homarus gammarus (Linnaeus, 1758). fishery/species/2648/en.
  27. FAO Fisheries & Aquaculture – Species Fact Sheets – Homarus americanus (H. Milne Edwards, 1837).
  28. FAO (2002). Implementation of the international plan of action to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. FAO Technical Guidelines for Responsible Fisheries, (9), 1-122.
  29. FAO (2018). State of world fisheries and aquaculture. FAO.
  30. FAO (2020). State of world fisheries and aquaculture. doi: 10.4060/ca9229en.
  31. Harding, G. (1968). The tragedy of the commons. Science, (162), 1243-1248. doi: 10.1126/science.162.3859.1243.
  32. GFCM (2022). Tracking illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in the Mediterranean and Black Sea.
  33. ICCAT (2021a). Recommendation [16-05] by ICCAT replacing the recommendation [13-04] and establishing multi-annual recovery plan for the Mediterranean swordfish. In ICCAT Compendium recommendations and resolutions adopted by ICCAT for the conservation of Atlantic tunas and tuna-like-species (pp. 51-59). Madrid: ICCAT
  34. ICCAT (2021b). Recommendation [17-02] by ICCAT amending the recommendation for the conservation of North Atlantic swordfish, rec. [16-03]. In ICCAT Compendium recommendations and resolutions adopted by ICCAT for the conservation of Atlantic tunas and tuna-like-species (pp. 60-63). Madrid: ICCAT.
  35. ICES (2019). Anglerfish (Lophius budegassa, Lophius piscatorius) in Subareas 4 and 6 and in Division 3.a (North Sea, Rockall and West of Scotland, Skagerrak and Kattegat). In Report of the ICES Advisory Committee, anf.27.3a46. Doi: 10.17895/ices.advice.4765.
  36. ICES (2020). Plaice (Pleuronectes platessa) in subarea 4, division 7d, and subdivision 20 (North Sea, eastern English Channel, Skagerrak). In Report of the ICES Advisory Committee, cod.27.47d20. Doi: 10.17895/ices.advice.5644.
  37. ICES (2021). White anglerfish (Lophius piscatorius) in Subarea 7 and divisions 8.a-d (Celtic Seas, Bay of Biscay). In Report of the ICES Advisory Committee, 2021, mon.27.78abd. Doi: 10.17895/ices.advice.7792. ISTAT Coeweb, statistiche del commercio estero.
  38. Jereb, P., Roper, C.F.E., & Vecchione, M. (2005). Introduction (pp. 1-19). In Cephalopods of the world, vol. 1. Rome: FAO.
  39. Kim, B.F., Santo, R.E., Scatterday, A.P., Fry, J.P., Synk, C.M., Cebron, S.H., Mekonnen, M.M., Hoekstra, A.Y., de Pee, S., Bloem, M.W., Neff, R.A., & Nachman, K.E. (2020). Country-specific dietary shifts to mitigate climate and water crises. Global Environmental Change, (62), (101926).
  40. Libralato, S., Caccin, A., & Pranovi, F. (2015). Modeling species invasions using thermal and trophic niche dynamics under climate change. Frontiers Marine Science, (2), 29. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2015.00029.
  41. Macias, J.C., Avila Zaragozá, P., Karakassis, I., Sanchez-Jerez, P., Massa, F., Fezzardi, D., YücelGier, G., Franičević, V., Borg, J.A., Chapela Pérez, R.M., Tomassetti, P., Angel, D.L., Marino, G., Nhhala, H., Hamza, H., Carmignac, C. & Fourdain, L. (2019). Allocated zones for aquaculture. GFCM Studies and Reviews, (97), 1-92.
  42. Marino, G., Petochi, T. & Cardia, F. (2020). Assegnazione di zone marine per l’acquacoltura (AZA). Guida tecnica. ISPRA. per-lacquacolturaaza-guida-tecnica.
  43. McKinney, R., Gibbon, J., Wozniak, E., & Galland, G. (2020). Netting billions 2020: a global tuna valuation. PEW Charitable Trust.
  44. MiPAAFT (2022a). Piano Strategico Nazionale Acquacoltura 2021-2027. Roma: CREA.
  45. MiPAAFT (2022b). VAS P.O. nazionale FEAMPA 2021-2027. Rapporto ambientale. IZI.
  46. Mkunda, J.J., Lassen, J., Chachage, B., Kusiluka, L., & Pasape, L. (2018). A review of Lake Victoria sardine products business and institutional arrangements for domestic and regional trade, Strategic Journal Business & Change Management, (5), 596-612.
  47. Myers, H.J., & Moore, M.J. (2020). Reducing effort in the U.S. lobster (Homarus americanus) fishery to prevent North Atlantic rightwhale (Eubalaena glacialis) entanglements may support higher profits and long-term profitability. Marine Policy, (118), e104017. doi: 10.1016/j.marpol.2020.e104017.
  48. Ngamprsertkit, S. (2018). Thailand seafood report. USDA GAIN TH8067.
  49. Pavicic, M., Matic-Skoko, S., Vrdoljac, D., & Vujevic, A. (2020). First record of American lobster, Homarus americanus (H. Milne Edwards, 1837), in the Mediterranean Sea. BioInvasions Records, (9), 83-88. doi: 10.3391/bir.2020.9.1.11.
  50. Pramod, G., Nakamura, K., Pitcher, T., & Delagran, L. (2014). Estimates of illegal and unreported seafood imports to the USA. Marine Policy, (48), 102-113.
  51. Pramod, G., Pitcher, T., & Mantha, G. (2017). Estimates of illegal and unreported seafood imports to Japan. Marine Policy, (84), 42-51.
  52. Rodrigues, L.C., Van Den Bergh, J.C.J.M., Massa, F., Theodorou, J.A., Ziveri, P., & Gazeau, F. (2015). Sensitivity of Mediterranean bivalve mollusk aquaculture to climate change, ocean acidification, and other environmental pressures: findings from a producer survey. Journal Shellfish Research, (34), 1161-1176. doi: 10.2938/035.034.0341.
  53. Romanuk, T.N., Hayward, A., Hutchins, J.A. (2010). Trophic level scales positively with body size in fishes. Global Ecology and Biogeography. doi: 10.1111/j.1466-8238-2010.00579.x.
  54. SAPEA (2017). Food from the oceans. Berlin: SAPEA. doi: 10.26536/foodfromtheoceans.
  55. Soldo A. (2014). Evolution and realities of the illegal fishing. Bruxelles: European Parliament.
  56. Stanton, E.A. (2012). The tragedy of maldistribution: climate, sustainability and equity. Sustainability, (4), 294-340. doi: 10.339/su4030394.
  57. STECF (Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries) (2021). Additional requests submitted by the Commission to the STECF. 6.1. CFP monitoring. In STECF 66th plenary report (PLEN-21-01) (pp. 31-40). Ispra: STECF Secretariat. doi: 10.2760/437609.
  58. Tudini L. (2020). Le produzioni ittiche. In Annuario agricoltura italiana 2019 (pp. 243-268). Roma: CREA. aae67ed29f9c?t=1622045006635.
  59. WCO (World Customs Organization) (2018). Harmonized System compendium – 30 years on. Bruxelles: WCO. hs/hs-compendium.pdf?la=en.
  60. World Bank (2018). Ecuador crustacean preparations: shrimps and prawns, prepared or preserved exports by country in 2018.
  61. Zar, J.H. (1999). Biostatistical analysis, fourth ed. Upper Saddler River: Prenctice Hall.


Metrics Loading ...