TitleGlobal marine yield halved as fishing intensity redoubles
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsWatson, RA, Cheung, WWL, Anticamara, JA, Sumaila, RU, Zeller, D, Pauly, D
JournalFish and Fisheries
Volume14
Pagination493–503
ISSN1467-2979
KeywordsFishing effort, fishing intensity, spatial expansion, yield
Abstract

There is widespread concern and debate about the state of global marine resources and the ecosystems supporting them, notably global fisheries, as catches now generally stagnate or decline. Many fisheries are not assessed by standard stock assessment methods including many in the world's most biodiverse areas. Though simpler methods using widely available catch data are available, these are often discounted largely because data on fishing effort that contributed to the changes in catches are mostly not considered. We analyse spatial and temporal patterns of global fishing effort and its relationship with catch to assess the status of the world's fisheries. The study reveals that fleets now fish all of the world's oceans and have increased in power by an average of 10-fold (25-fold for Asia) since the 1950s. Significantly, for the equivalent fishing power expended, landings from global fisheries are now half what they were a half-century ago, indicating profound changes to supporting marine environments. This study provides another dimension to understand the global status of fisheries.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-2979.2012.00483.x
DOI10.1111/j.1467-2979.2012.00483.x