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Rapid global expansion of invertebrate fisheries: Trends, drivers, and ecosystem effects


Anderson, SC and Flemming, JM and Watson, RA and Lotze, HK, Rapid global expansion of invertebrate fisheries: Trends, drivers, and ecosystem effects, PLoS ONE, 6, (3) Article e14735. ISSN 1932-6203 (2011) [Refereed Article]


DOI: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0014735


Background: Worldwide, finfish fisheries are receiving increasing assessment and regulation, slowly leading to more sustainable exploitation and rebuilding. In their wake, invertebrate fisheries are rapidly expanding with little scientific scrutiny despite increasing socio-economic importance.

Methods and Findings: We provide the first global evaluation of the trends, drivers, and population and ecosystem consequences of invertebrate fisheries based on a global catch database in combination with taxa-specific reviews. We also develop new methodologies to quantify temporal and spatial trends in resource status and fishery development. Since 1950, global invertebrate catches have increased 6-fold with 1.5 times more countries fishing and double the taxa reported. By 2004, 34% of invertebrate fisheries were over-exploited, collapsed, or closed. New fisheries have developed increasingly rapidly, with a decrease of 6 years (3 years) in time to peak from the 1950s to 1990s. Moreover, some fisheries have expanded further and further away from their driving market, encompassing a global fishery by the 1990s. 71% of taxa (53% of catches) are harvested with habitat-destructive gear, and many provide important ecosystem functions including habitat, filtration, and grazing.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that invertebrate species, which form an important component of the basis of marine food webs, are increasingly exploited with limited stock and ecosystem-impact assessments, and enhanced management attention is needed to avoid negative consequences for ocean ecosystems and human well-being.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:analytic method; aquatic environment; article; data base; environmental exploitation; environmental impact assessment; environmental management; fish; fishing; food industry; grazing; invertebrate; marketing; nonhuman; population research
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Aquaculture and fisheries stock assessment
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - wild caught
Objective Field:Wild caught fin fish (excl. tuna)
UTAS Author:Watson, RA (Professor Reginald Watson)
ID Code:83659
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:176
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2013-03-20
Last Modified:2014-01-10
Downloads:388 View Download Statistics

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