Mapping Fisheries Landings with Emphasis on the North Atlantic

R. Watson, A. Gelchu, D. Pauly, (2001). “Mapping Fisheries Landings with Emphasis on the North Atlantic,” Fisheries Centre Research Reports No. 9 (Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Fisheries landing statistics from broad statistical reporting areas were mapped as catches with a resolution of 30 minutes of longitude x 30 minutes of latitude. The procedure involved the progressive disaggregation of the statistics, firstly to provide poorly defined records with a better taxonomic identity, and secondly by using a rule-based process involving databases of known distributions of taxa, oceanographic features and of the areas where reporting countries are permitted to fish, in order to spatially disaggregate the data. Maps prepared for reporting years 1950 until 1999 showed trends in the spatial distribution of fisheries catches, provided a valuable means of examining other questions such as interactions between fishing and marine mammals, and provided descriptions of the global catch from large marine ecosystems. Catch maps prepared for the North Atlantic are illustrated and were used in the formation of ecological models and in the preparation of maps of catch value.