Panama Table of Contents
Fishing was more important to Panama's economy than forestry, supplying the domestic market and providing substantial export earnings. The waters of the two oceans afforded a variety of fish and crustaceans. Shrimp provided 84 percent of the total value of fishing, and their share of total export earnings increased from 16 percent in 1983 (US$51.4 million) to 18 percent in 1985 (US$60 million). Fish production increased from 117 million kilograms in 1981 to 127 million kilograms in 1985. The most important fish products were anchovies and herring, which were processed into fish meal and oil. Lobster accounted for a minuscule share of fishing products.
Large portions of the country's forests are commercially exploited. Forestry production remained virtually constant in the early 1980s, when the annual forestry output averaged 2,047 cubic meters. The government has implemented a program of reforestation, but the pace of depletion has exceeded that of replanting. Deforestation was most pronounced along the canal, posing a longterm threat to the canal's water level.
Data as of December 1987