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Systematic distortions in world fisheries catch trends


Watson, RA and Pauly, D, Systematic distortions in world fisheries catch trends, Nature, 414, (6863) pp. 534-536. ISSN 0028-0836 (2001) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1038/35107050


Over 75% of the world marine fisheries catch (over 80 million tonnes per year) is sold on international markets, in contrast to other food commodities (such as rice). At present, only one institution, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) maintains global fisheries statistics. As an intergovernmental organization, however, FAO must generally rely on the statistics provided by member countries, even if it is doubtful that these correspond to reality. Here we show that misreporting by countries with large fisheries, combined with the large and widely fluctuating catch of species such as the Peruvian anchoveta, can cause globally spurious trends. Such trends influence unwise investment decisions by firms in the fishing sector and by banks, and prevent the effective management of international fisheries.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Food products; International trade; Statistics; International markets; Fisheries; catch statistics; fishery; international trade; trend analysis; article; climate; fish; fishing; food; nonhuman; priority journal; statistical analysis; United Nations
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:84079
Year Published:2001
Web of Science® Times Cited:417
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2013-04-17
Last Modified:2013-04-22

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