Experiencing positive economic growth upwards of 3% annually in recent years, Poland is a large country in Northern Europe with a total territory of more than 310.000 square kilometers, which is slightly smaller than New Mexico. Poland has a total population of almost 39 million citizens and has a northern coastline along the Baltic Sea. Since 2004, Poland has been a member of the European Union; however, the country does not utilize the Euro as its national currency. With an annual gross domestic product (GDP) of approximately US$1 trillion, Poland’s economy is divided into 3% agriculture, 38% manufacturing, and 59% services. However, the agriculture industry utilizes some 48% of the national territory, while another 30% is forested. Furthermore, the Polish agricultural industry employs up to 13% of the national labor force, while manufacturing employs about 30% and services employ another 57%.
In terms of natural resources, Poland is rich in coal, sulfur, copper, natural gas, silver, lead, salt, amber, and arable land. Similarly, within the manufacturing industry, Poland produces machinery, heavy metals, carbon fuels, chemicals, ships, glass, textiles, food, and beverages. Within the agricultural industry, Poland’s main products are potatoes, fruits, vegetables, wheat, poultry, eggs, pork, fish, and dairy. It is important to mention that Poland is a large opponent of genetically modified organisms (GMO), forbidding the cultivation and commercialization of GMO crops for both food and animal feed.
Fish, Seafood, and Agriculture in Poland
Having a substantial northern coastline, Poland has one of the largest fishing industries in Europe. Even though most of Poland’s fishing takes place in the Baltic Sea, the country’s industry also engages in long-distance fishing. During 2015, Poland’s total fish catch exceeded 180.000 metric tons, consisting mainly of European sprat, Atlantic herring, and European flounder. Of the almost 181.000 metric tons caught in 2015 by Polish fishers, some 134.000 metric tons came from the Baltic Sea, while the another 48.000 metric tons of fish came from the Atlantic Ocean.
Likewise, Poland has fish farms both along its coastal regions and throughout inland fresh-water operations, particularly for trout and carp cultivation. Aquaculture fisheries cultivated some 38.000 metric tons of fish in 2015, accounting for almost 18.000 metric tons of carp throughout 70.000 hectares of territory. Similarly, aquaculture operations yielded more than 15.500 metric tons of trout in 2015. In fact, Poland’s food processing industry is a major distributor for European consumer markets providing smoked, frozen, and canned products to its neighbors. During 2015, Poland’s fish and seafood processing industry produced some 467.000 metric tons of consumer goods valued at approximately US$2.4 billion.
Poland’s domestic market consumes a fair amount of the country’s fish and seafood production with pollock and herring being the national favorites. In terms of trade, Poland’s most important partner is neighboring Germany, along with fellow EU members such as the Netherlands, France, and Italy. Therefore, it is no surprise that the majority of Poland’s fish and seafood exports are destined for markets in Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. However, in terms of imports, Poland purchases most of its fish and seafood products from Nordic countries, mainly Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.