Study: China inflates fish numbers
Halifax Daily News Briefs, 29 Nov 2001

TORONTO (CP-AP) -- The sole tally of the world's fish stocks is being wildly overstated as a result of fishy statistics from China, a study by researchers at the University of British Columbia suggests.

For more than a decade, China has been exaggerating catch reports, leading scientists to believe there's a healthy number of fish in the sea, says an article to be published today in the science journal Nature.

Despite local evidence that fish stocks are overexploited, figures from the United Nations have long suggested worldwide catches rose 330,000 tonnes a year throughout the 1990s.

Those numbers have helped to foster a false sense of security about the health of international fish stocks, says the article by researchers Reg Watson and Daniel Pauly.