Nafarroa Beherea and Zuberoa are the provinces where agriculture and stock breeding have the greatest incidence on the economic structure.
As regards the characteristics of the agriculture, the type practiced in the northern side of the Cantabrian-Mediterranean watershed is different to the type which prevails in the southern side of this watershed.
In the northern side, a geographical area which covers the north of Araba, Bizkaia, Gipuzkoa, north of Nafarroa and the French-Basque provinces, a greater stock-breeding vocation can be observed as opposed to agriculture. The size of the farms is smaller than on the southern side; they are mainly oriented to breeding cattle and sheep for milk and meat production.
Characteristic features of this area are meadows and pastures, next to smallholdings dedicated to forage crops also for the livestock. It is also an area which, due to its orographical characteristics, presents a lower degree of mechanisation than the southern side.
On the southern side, in the centre and south of Araba and Nafarroa, the agriculture has greater weight compared to stock breeding, with a predominance of cereal, horticultural and vine crops over large areas. As regards the type of livestock, in this area the greatest indexes of production correspond to the poultry sector (Araba) and the pig (Regional Community of Nafarroa).
- More information about agriculture and stock breeding in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country
In Euskal Herria this activity is divided into the following sub-sectors: shallow-water, deep sea-fresh water, cod fishing boats, tuna fishing-freezer boats and trawler-freezers. In the Basque Autonomous Community, the number of boats dedicated to these sub-sectors has suffered a clear drop in the period 1990-2003, except in the tuna fishing-freezer boats, which has stayed the same.
The most important decrease has been noted in the shallow-water fishing compared to the other sub-sectors, however, despite this, 2003 had 76% of the total of boats and 57% of the total fishing crew. Compared to this, it is the tuna fishing-freezer boats which have the highest index of productivity.
The shallow-water fishing, on the other hand, is an activity which is present in all the ports of Bizkaia, Gipuzkoa and Lapurdi. In this field, we can highlight the fishing ports of Bermeo and Ondarroa (Bizkaia), Getaria and Hondarribia (Gipuzkoa) and San Juan de Luz/ Ciboure and Hendaya (Lapurdi).
During the first few years of the 21st century, this industry faces the problem of the scarcity of specimens and species, which is not proportional to the existent demand. Therefore, the fleet has been forced to move its activity to other areas, which means they must depend on the agreements signed by the competent authorities in this matter. This leads to the need to respect rigorous limits on licences and captures, and we have to turn to fish farming to satisfy the market demand.On the other hand, the Basque Autonomous Community is the only Autonomous Community in the State which has the Fishery Research transferred, therefore it exercises the competence in this matter by continuously developing (AZTI) an intense task of evaluation and development of management models for the main fishing grounds of the fishing fleet and also by actively participating in numerous work groups which fit into the different internacional fishery organisations: International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) and Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO).