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Over 90 endangered fish and invertebrates are caught in industrial fisheries


Roberson, LA and Watson, RA and Klein, CJ, Over 90 endangered fish and invertebrates are caught in industrial fisheries, Nature Communications, 11, (1) Article 4764. ISSN 2041-1723 (2020) [Refereed Article]


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This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

DOI: doi:10.1038/s41467-020-18505-6


Industrial-scale harvest of species at risk of extinction is controversial and usually highly regulated on land and for charismatic marine animals (e.g. whales). In contrast, threatened marine fish species can be legally caught in industrial fisheries. To determine the magnitude and extent of this problem, we analyze global fisheries catch and import data and find reported catch records of 91 globally threatened species. Thirteen of the species are traded internationally and predominantly consumed in European nations. Targeted industrial fishing for 73 of the threatened species accounts for nearly all (99%) of the threatened species catch volume and value. Our results are a conservative estimate of threatened species catch and trade because we only consider species-level data, excluding group records such as ‘sharks and rays.’ Given the development of new fisheries monitoring technologies and the current push for stronger international mechanisms for biodiversity management, industrial fishing of threatened fish and invertebrates should no longer be neglected in conservation and sustainability commitments.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:endangered species, seafood trade, global, sustainability
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Fisheries sciences not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Environmentally sustainable animal production
Objective Field:Environmentally sustainable animal production not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Watson, RA (Professor Reginald Watson)
ID Code:141929
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:9
Deposited By:Fisheries and Aquaculture
Deposited On:2020-12-03
Last Modified:2021-02-22
Downloads:15 View Download Statistics

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