A report published by the National Statistics Office (NSO) today shows that the fish farming sector made a combined loss in 2019 as it registered a steep decline of 29 percent from the previous year.
The total output generated by the aquaculture and tuna farming industry in Malta in 2019 stood at €169.9 million, a decline of 29 per cent over the €239.2 million recorded in 2018.
The annual census conducted amongst all the enterprises operating in the local aquaculture and tuna farming industry indicates that, during 2019, the combined output generated by this activity fell by €69.3 million or 29.0 per cent over that recorded in 2018.
Similarly, the intermediate consumption of the industry, which comprises the main operating expenses incurred by the operators, fell by €46.3 million or 20.0 per cent over that registered a year before.
As a result, the industry’s gross value added settled at a negative balance of €15.4 million.
The gross fixed capital consumption of the assets held by the industry edged upwards by €0.5 million to a total of €4.7 million, while compensation of employees rose by €0.9 million to €9.5 million.
Overall, the industry registered a net operating loss of €29.7 million.
In terms of volume, the total sales of farmed fish fell by 5.5 million tonnes or 28.3 per cent when compared to the preceding year; mainly due to a decline in farmed tuna volume sales of 5.4 million tonnes (or 30.9 per cent). In terms of value, the total sales of farmed fish decreased by €80.8 million, or 33.3 per cent, to a total of €161.9 million.
As regards the various expenditure costs incurred by the industry, the purchases of live tuna and fingerlings declined by €16.3 million, or 14.8 per cent, to a total of €93.6 million. This expenditure item accounted for 50.5 per cent of the entire intermediate consumption of the industry.
Similarly, variable production costs decreased by 23.0 per cent over 2018 to €66.4 million; while selling costs and overheads fell by 28.0 and 28.7 per cent, to €5.0 and €20.3 million respectively.
Image Credit: MMF