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China's distant-water fisheries in the 21st century


Pauly, D and Belhabib, D and Blomeyer, R and Cheung, WWWL and Cisneros-Montemayor, AM and Copeland, D and Harper, S and Lam, VWY and Mai, Y and Le Manach, F and Osterblom, H and Mok, KM and Van der Meer, L and Sanz, A and Shon, S and Sumaila, UR and Swartz, W and Watson, R and Zhai, Y and Zeller, D, China's distant-water fisheries in the 21st century, Fish and Fisheries pp. 1-15. ISSN 1467-2960 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd

DOI: doi:10.1111/faf.12032


We conservatively estimate the distant-water fleet catch of the People's Republic of China for 2000-2011, using a newly assembled database of reported occurrence of Chinese fishing vessels in various parts of the world and information on the annual catch by vessel type. Given the unreliability of official statistics, uncertainty of results was estimated through a regionally stratified Monte Carlo approach, which documents the presence and number of Chinese vessels in Exclusive Economic Zones and then multiplies these by the expected annual catch per vessel. We find that China, which over-reports its domestic catch, substantially under-reports the catch of its distant-water fleets. This catch, estimated at 4.6 million t year-1 (95% central distribution, 3.4-6.1 million t year-1) from 2000 to 2011 (compared with an average of 368 000 t·year-1 reported by China to FAO), corresponds to an ex-vessel landed value of 8.93 billion € year-1 (95% central distribution, 6.3-12.3 billion). Chinese distant-water fleets extract the largest catch in African waters (3.1 million t year-1, 95% central distribution, 2.0-4.4 million t), followed by Asia (1.0 million t year-1, 0.56-1.5 million t), Oceania (198 000 t year-1, 144 000-262 000 t), Central and South America (182 000 t year-1, 94 000-299 000 t) and Antarctica (48 000 t year-1, 8 000-129 000 t). The uncertainty of these estimates is relatively high, but several sources of inaccuracy could not be fully resolved given the constraints inherent in the underlying data and method, which also prevented us from distinguishing between legal and illegal catch.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Control and Surveillance of fisheries, distant-water fishing, illegal, management, Monte Carlo method, unreported and unregulated (IUU) catch
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, R (Professor Reginald Watson)
ID Code:91420
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:126
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2014-05-19
Last Modified:2017-11-04

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