Seafood production in Turkey increased by 19 percent and reached 239 thousand tons. Exports increased by 30 percent and reached 1 billion 376 million dollars.
Turkey is a country surrounded by seas on three sides and rich in water resources. Shellfish, fish species, and soft seafood are the seafood found in Turkey. Thanks to the protein and omega-3 sources they contain, seafood is loved and consumed all over the world. Seafood sold as frozen, fresh, or canned are products with high added value. In addition to seafood, the number of state-supported fish farms is increasing in Turkey. Especially with the incentives for salmon, sea bass, and anchovy farming, drastic increases were seen in exports in 2021.
As the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic began to wane, there was liveliness in the seafood trade. Seafood production in Turkey increased by 19 percent compared to 2020 and reached 239 thousand tons with state support. If we look at the export data, it increased by 30 percent and reached 1 billion 376 million dollars. It is expected that production and exports will increase gradually with the studies of the Ministry, private sector investments, and awareness of hunters.
The support provided by the Ministry and environmentally sensitive production policies increased the yield of seafood. In addition, production increased with the effect of the temporary stop decisions for hunting. The Ministry increased the export figures by supporting the production of fish species that are most sensitive to global climate change. Turkey has expanded the fields of fisheries products by establishing public-private partnerships and receiving support from academicians specialized in fisheries at universities. Thus, the production of fish with high added value was increased, increasing net export figures.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has recently carried out serious efforts to brand Turkish salmon. Thanks to the ministry's work that has been supporting Turkish salmon production for 2 years, there has been a serious increase in its production. In 2021, salmon production increased by 122% compared to the previous year and reached 40 thousand tons. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry also plans to continue the promotion and marketing activities of Turkish salmon in the domestic and foreign markets.
Turkey exported seafood to a total of 106 countries in 2021. Most of the exports were made to European Union countries. Exports to the European Union amounted to 55% of total exports. The prominent countries in Turkey's aquaculture exports were Russia with 217 million dollars and Italy with 162 million dollars. These countries were followed by England with 141 million dollars, the Netherlands with 124 million dollars, and Japan with 103 million dollars. While Turkey mostly sold sea bass to England, it exported sea bream and sea bass to Italy, salmon to Russia, and tuna to Japan.
According to the data of the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK), aquaculture production reached 799 thousand 851 tons in 2021 with an increase of 1.8% compared to the previous year. 41% of the fishery products were obtained through fishing, while 59% were produced through aquaculture. While the production by fishing was 328 thousand 165 tons in 2021, the production by aquaculture was 471 thousand 686 tons.
Anchovy was the most caught fish species in fishing. A total of 151.6 thousand tons of anchovy were caught in 2021. Anchovy was followed by sprat with 28 thousand tons and horse mackerel with 19.6 thousand tons. The main fish species grown were trout with 135 thousand 732 tons in inland waters. The most grown fish in the seas was sea bass with 155 thousand 151 tons and sea bream with 133 thousand 476 tons. Moreover, Turkey left Greece behind in sea bass and sea bream production and ranked first in the world.
The increased fish consumption with the Covid 19 epidemic enabled Turkey to increase its production. Exporting more than 1 billion dollars to 106 countries in 2021, Turkey wants to exceed this figure in 2022. Turkey's target for 2022 is to export at least 1 billion 750 million dollars. While the average export price of seafood was $5.23 per kilogram in 2020, it increased by 12% to $5.84 per kilogram in 2021. This increase will affect the private sector and state investments in 2022.
We are aware of the richness of seafood in Turkey, which is surrounded by seas on three sides. Turkish Goods delivers the best quality products all over the world, and can also easily deliver seafood to you. We are committed to delivering the seafood to you using the cold chain method as soon as possible.