Construction and Potential Applications of a Global Cost of Fishing Database

V. W. L. Lam, U. R. Sumaila, A. Dyck, D. Pauly, R. Watson, (2010). “Construction and Potential Applications of a Global Cost of Fishing Database,” Fisheries Centre Working Paper (Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

The development of a global database of fishing cost is first described and then an overview of fishing cost patterns at the national, regional and global scales is provided. This fishing cost database provides crucial economic information that is necessary for assessing the economics of global fisheries and is useful for incorporation into sustainable management. The database was organized into two broad cost categories, that is, variable and fixed costs, for 144 maritime countries. Together, these countries captured approximately 98% of global landings in 2005. The cost data is categorized into country and gear type combinations, and this structure allows the cost data to link to spatially defined catch database for future analysis in both spatial and temporal dimensions. Costs also varied between gear types with tuna longliner and dredge being the gears with the highest variable and total fishing costs. When comparing costs across FAO regions, Oceania is shown to have the highest unit variable cost. The global average variable and total cost per tonne of catch in 2005 is estimated to range between US$ 608 and US$ 1,356 and US$ 732 and US$ 1,605, with middle values of US$ 970 and US$ 1,155, respectively. We estimate the total annual global variable fishing cost to be in the range of US$ 58 – 129 billion with an average of US$92 billion per year in year 2005 dollars.