Fishing activity goes far back in Tunisia History. The many frescoes in mosaic dating from Roman times are the best evidences. This activity has not ceased to grow up and to develop to represent in our days a strategic economical sector which represents a considerable food resource. In fact, fishing is contributing at a rate of almost 9% of the value of agriculture, about 1.4% of PNB. By its contribution to the country's growth, the sector directly provides 54,000 jobs and income sources to 45 000 other heads of families.
With a heavy maritime infrastructure consisting of 41 fishing ports well distributed over the 1300 km of coastline and a well-developed fleet of over 11,500 fishing boats, the average of annual output is nearly 100 000 tons with a value of about 330 million dinars. The production consists of 52% of benthic products (coastal fishing and trawling) and 48% of pelagic products (pelagic trawling, sardine and tuna).
Export volume of marine products in Tunisia is about 30 000 tons in 2011 consisting mainly of cephalopods (octopus and cuttlefish) and crustaceans (shrimps and prawns) and fresh fish (bluefin tuna).This is an activity that represents the second position in export viewpoint after olive oil with a value of 326 million dinars in 2011.