A paper published in Nature has shown that catch estimates of global fisheries from 1950 to 2010 have been underestimated. The FAO estimates, which are widely used, have not included data on artisanal, recreational, illegal, or discarded catches. A reconstructed catch estimate shows that the peak year of 1996 produced 130 million tonnes of fish, 51% more than the previous estimate of 86 million tonnes. More encouragingly the paper also shows that a decline in global catch since 1996 is steeper than previously thought. The authors conclude that better catch estimates are vital to fisheries being sustainably managed.
Resource submitted by James Goodman