On March 11, 2017, the Sea Around Us Principal Investigator Daniel Pauly attended the international symposium “Drivers of Dynamics of Small Pelagic Fish Resources,” organized by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea and the North Pacific Marine Science Organization in Victoria, B.C.
During a lecture in front of the “Remote sensing and ecology of small pelagics” Working Group, Dr. Pauly presented a paper “Mapping small pelagics, fisheries and the primary production they require,” which he co-authored with the Sea Around Us Senior Scientist Dr. Maria Lourdes Palomares.
The main points of this presentation are outlined in the following abstract: “The estimation of primary production (PP) was among the first remote sensing applications of direct use to fisheries research. This contribution reviews (i) attempts to relate observed fisheries catches to PP estimates from remote sensing, with emphasis on small pelagic fishes, and (ii) the related concept of ‘primary production required by fisheries’ (PPR). Global maps of PPR are presented, based on the ‘reconstructed’ catches of small pelagic and other marine fish and invertebrates mapped onto their distribution range maps, given constraints to fleet operations, and maps of PP from remote sensing. The major features of the PPR maps will be described and explained.”
Figure 1 below shows the PPR for all catches in the 21st century, with high offshore values due to tunas. Figure 2 shows the low PPR of small pelagic fishes. In other words, small pelagic fish are seafood with a low environmental footprint.