3159 Making Fishing Effort in the World Ocean Sustainable: Lessons from Historic Trends

Friday, February 18, 2011: 1:30 PM
146B (Washington Convention Center )
Reg Watson , University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia
A global dataset of fishing effort was compiled and mapped to a fine network of spatial cells. The compilation involved harmonizing data from FAO, the EU and other sources, interpolating missing data and standardizing units. The subsequent mapping process utilized databases already developed by the Sea Around Us project which describe the distribution of commercially fished marine fauna, the fishing patterns of countries, and the associations between catch and its value, and the fishing gears used to catch it. To facilitate the examination of important patterns of ‘catch per unit of effort’, often associated with fisheries health, the development of the effort database and its mapping were done largely independently from the global catch database versions developed by the Sea Around Us project over the last decade. What was revealed are rich maps showing expanding global fisheries while the associated catch per unit of effort showed worrying trends. Global fishing fleets have spread to encompass all of the world’s oceans and their power has increased an average of 10-fold (25-fold for Asia) since the 1950s. They are working harder and smarter for less.
See more of: 2050: Will There Be Fish in the Ocean?
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