What is it?
This is a dataset of global fisheries landings based on a range of public sources combined which are then mapped to a system of global 30-min spatial cells based on information on the animals reported, the country fishing and any spatial information available (1). The data that is sourced includes the year of fishing, the country fishing, the taxa fished (specificity varies from the very general to single species) and the statistical area where fishing occurred (which can be very precise or cover huge areas). Based on publicly available associations between these factors, the catch is associated with various fishing gear types (2,3). Further, the mapped catch is examined and estimates of small-scale fishing (4) and large-scale fishing made. Estimates of illegal and unreported catch are added (5), as are estimates of discards at sea (6).
Now updated with input from satellite tracking of vessels (AIS), fishing gear logistics and input from tuna regional fisheries management agencies data. See descriptions and metadata at 10.25959/5c522cadbea37
Global fisheries catch 1950-2015
Where does the information come from?
A harmonised and mapped compilation of global catch from 1950 to 2015 (1) derived from a range of sources including the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Capture Production 1950-2015 dataset ( www.fao.org), International Committee for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) 1950-2015 (www.ices.dk), Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (NAFO) Catch and Effort 1960-2015 (www.nafo.int), Southeast Atlantic (SEAFO) Capture Production 1975-2015 (www.seafo.org), General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) Capture production 1970-2015 (www.gfcm.org), Fishery Committee for the Eastern Central Atlantic (ECAF) Capture production 1970-2015 (www.fao.org/fishery/rfb/ecaf), Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) Statistical Bulletin 1970-2015 (www.ccamlr.org) and Sea Around Us project (SAUP) – records for FAO area 18 (Arctic) v1 1950 to 2014 (extrapolated to 2015) (www.seaaroundus.org) (3). See description in (1,7,8 and references therein) for fuller details of data treatment.
How complete is it?
This dataset includes the latest public data covering the period from 1950 annually to 2015 (including historical catch before 1950). There are estimates of large scale fishing, small scale fishing, illegal and unreported fishing (5), and discarding at sea (6).
How do you access this information?
The data is available for download as series of 5-year text files (comma-delimited csv) from the bottom of the metadata description page http://dx.doi.org/10.4226/77/5a65572655f73
- R.A. Watson, A.N. Tidd, Mapping nearly a century and a half of global marine fishing: 1869 to 2015, Marine Policy (In Press)
- Watson, R., Revenga, C., Kura, Y. (2006.) Fishing gear associated with global marine catches: I Database development. Fisheries Research 79, 97-102.
- Watson, R., Revenga, C., Kura, Y. (2006) Fishing gear associated with global marine catches. II. Trends in trawling and dredging. Fisheries Research 79, 103-111.
- Chuenpagdee, R., Liguori, L., Palomares, M. L. D. & Pauly, D. Bottom up, global estimates of small-scale marine fisheries catches. 105pp (University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, 2006)
- Agnew, D. J. et al. Estimating the worldwide extent of illegal fishing. PLoS One 4, e4570, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004570 (2009).
- Kelleher, K. Discards in the world’s marine fisheries. An update., 131 (FAO, Rome, 2005).
- Watson, R. A. (2017) A database of global marine commercial, small-scale, illegal and unreported fisheries catch 1950-2014. Nature Scientific Data 4(170039).
- Watson, R., Kitchingman, A., Gelchu, A., Pauly, D. (2004) Mapping global fisheries: sharpening our focus. Fish and Fisheries 5, 168-177
Table 1. Data sources used in data compilation.
FAO Global Fishery and Aquaculture Production Statistics v2017.1.0 Global Capture Production (Release date: March 7th 2017)
International Committee for the Exploration of the Sea 1950-2015
Historical data 1903-1949
Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organisation Catch and Effort 21B 1960-2015 (Updated 1 June 2017)
Southeast Atlantic Capture Production 1975-2015 (FAO Regional Capture Fisheries Statistics v2017.2.0 Release date: 15 June 2017)
General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean Capture production 1970-2015 STATLANT 37A (Release date: Sept 2017)
Fishery Committee for the Eastern Central Atlantic Capture production 1970-2015 (FAO Regional Capture Fisheries Statistics v2017.2.0 Release date: 15 June 2017)
Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources Statistical Bulletin 2017 Vol. 29 1970-2015
Sea Around Us project – records for FAO area 18 (Arctic) v2 1950-2014 (extrapolated to 2015)
Western & Central Pacific Fisheries Commission 1950-2014 (Data accessed June 2017)
Indian Ocean Tuna Commission 1952-2015 (Data accessed June 2017)
International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas 1956-2015 (Data accessed June 2017)
Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission 1954-2015 (Data accessed June 2017)
Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna 1965-2015 (Data accessed June 2017)