Fishing Gear Associated with Global Marine Catches

R. Watson, E. Hoshino, J. Beblow, C. Revenga, Y. Kura, A. Kitchingman, (2004). “Fishing Gear Associated with Global Marine Catches,” Fisheries Centre Research Reports No. 12 (Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Fishing gears, instrumental to the fishing process, exert direct but often poorly documented impacts on marine communities and habitats. A database is described here that associates all global catch with fishing gear types allowing for the analysis of global fishing patterns. The fine spatial detail of the Sea Around Us project?s catch database allows for the construction of maps showing subtle changes in the use of fishing gears annually since 1950. These maps are particularly useful to help assess the impact of fishing gears such as bottom trawls and dredges, which have been shown to have significant impacts on marine communities. Maps included in this report chronicle the expansion of these and other gears in ways that will inform debate over their impacts, and proved critical information to inform policy development and management choices.