Catch reconstructions reveal that global marine fisheries catches are higher than reported and declining


Daniel Pauly and Dirk Zeller

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Pauly, Daniel, and Dirk Zeller. “Catch Reconstructions Reveal That Global Marine Fisheries Catches Are Higher than Reported and Declining.” Nature Communications 7, no. 1 (2016).


Using a decade-long multinational ‘catch reconstruction’ project covering the Exclusive Economic Zones of the world’s maritime countries and the High Seas from 1950 to 2010, and accounting for all fisheries, the authors identify catch trajectories differing considerably from the national data submitted to the FAO. The authors suggest that catch actually peaked at 130 million tonnes, and has been declining much more strongly since. This decline in reconstructed catches reflects declines in industrial catches and to a smaller extent declining discards, despite industrial fishing having expanded from industrialized countries to the waters of developing countries.

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