Important notice regarding the availability of the Sea Around Us data

The annual marine fisheries catch data for all the world’s countries since 1950, recently updated to 2019, that the Sea Around Us has assembled are extremely popular with the scientific and ocean conservation communities, and we are delighted about that.

Every dataset that we make freely available is generated through a cloud server system (Amazon Web Services) that houses our databases and website. Costs are generated by data bits moved by querying the service, for example, when a user downloads data via the Sea Around Us website. Such costs are very high for customized data extractions, which move larger amounts of information.

The increasing amount of data requests that we receive also requires an equally increasing amount of staff time devoted to formulating the data queries, extracting and preparing the datasets, explaining to the requester what the dataset entails and sending the dataset in the format required by the requester. This ‘model’ is no longer sustainable.

Thus, we see ourselves obliged to ask colleagues who request data in excess of the data that they can access themselves through the ‘download’ buttons on our website, to contribute to the cost of making the data available to them. This doesn’t imply that the Sea Around Us will sell its data – if we did, they would be so expensive that nobody would be able to pay for them. Rather, this will offset the cost that the supplying of the data generates, which can generally range from USD 400 (for limited data covering a set of countries for a few years) up to USD 8,000 (for all countries of the world, for all years, i.e., 1950 to near-present, for all taxa and fishing gears).

The cost recovery that we will request from now on can be expected to reduce the number of data requests we receive and accommodate, and we regret this. However, we cannot afford not to ask for matching the cost of extracting and sending Sea Around Us data. We hope that you understand.

To receive information regarding the fee that will be charged for the dataset that you have in mind, please email us at feedback[at]