Trawl nets, drift nets, longlines, etc. have allowed fleets across the world to turn their fishing operations into massive extractive activities.
In several countries’ Exclusive Economic Zones, such expansion has led to depleted fish stocks. Some of those countries, however, have enough capital to buy access to other countries’ waters, extract their resources and sell them across continents. “They are just exporting the problem,” the Sea Around Us Senior Scientist Dirk Zeller has said.
Developing countries with weak financial capabilities and poorly-informed, unconcerned or corrupt authorities are eventually left with collapsed fish stocks and starving human populations, while their former ‘clients’ move to fish elsewhere.
This is only one of the many reasons why having long-term, ecologically sustainable fishery management systems is crucial. But in order to ensure the rational and responsible use of living marine resources to benefit the majority of humanity, stakeholders, scientists, and the general public must, at the very least, know the real amount of fish that’s being caught in their countries’ waters by both local and foreign fleets.
The Sea Around Us website provides these critical data. Take a look at the video below and learn how to search for and download catch statistics for individual Exclusive Economic Zones by fishing country, taxon, catch type, commercial groups, functional groups, fishing sector, reporting status, and data layer.