Revenue distribution through the seafood value chain: FAO Fisheries Circular No. 1019

Eyjólfur Guðmundsson, Frank Asche, Max Nielsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This Circular defines the value chain as the range of services required to bring a product from conception to the final consumer. For seafood products this includes capture (or culture), processing, distribution and marketing. A theoretical basis of value chain analysis, as the value added at each step of the chain, is explained and a methodology developed. The application is demonstrated in four case studies of different fisheries, two in developing countries and two in developed. Two different types of product are covered: white fish fillets (cod from Iceland and Nile perch from the United Republic of Tanzania) and small pelagic fish (herring from Denmark and anchovy from Morocco). Despite the difficulties of obtaining data, the case studies demonstrate some common trends between the two sets of products. However, in the case of white fish fillets the retail sector absorbs 61 percent of the value chain in the United Republic of Tanzania but only 37 percent in Iceland: that is more value accrues to the producers in Iceland. For small pelagics the retail sector for Danish herring adds 38 percent of the value while for Moroccan anchovy the figure is 75 percent.

It is acknowledged that these four case studies, based on imperfect data, are only a starting point and that more value chain analysis should be undertaken to confirm and expand these results. Researchers in developing countries are encouraged to apply the methodology developed here to their fisheries in order to generate a larger body of information.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages42
JournalFAO Fisheries Circular
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Other keywords

  • Sea food
  • Value chains
  • Fisheries


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