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Unique database details 5.8 trillion-tonne global fishing catch

Unique database details 5.8 trillion-tonne global fishing catch

Image:  Garfish catch

University of Tasmania (UTAS) researchers at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) have developed a unique fisheries database that is providing unprecedented insights into global fishing catches between 1950 and 2014. The database brings together every major international statistical collection of fisheries data since comprehensive records began, providing unique insights into the industry.

During the 65 years covered by the records, fishers from 193 countries caught more than 5.8 trillion tonnes of fish from 1,443 species, including 892 million tonnes taken illegally and 629 million tonnes discarded at sea. UTAS researcher, Professor Reg Watson, said it illustrated the finite nature of the global marine fishery. “More than 867 million fishing records have been compiled into a single harmonised view and mapped down to tiny spatial cells, so we can see where fishing has been happening and how it’s changed over time,” he said.

Scientists worldwide are now using the database, to inform their research into a wide range of issues. “Researchers are using the data to study issues such as fisheries management, the global impact of fishing, and how the benefits accrue to different countries,” said Professor Watson.

Media issued by The University of Tasmania.

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