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 estimate the cost of your request, please take a look at the matrix below.

Data Request Matrix

Category/Complexity High (3) Medium (2) Low (1)
Years All years (1950 to near present) Greater than or equal to 20 years but less than all years Less than 20 years
Cell Data All request related to cell data are considered high because the same effort is required for low numbers of cells as for high numbers
Allocated Catch (Only Total Catch) By gear, taxa, etc. Only by taxa Sum
Allocated Catch (Number of EEZ) All EEZs EEZs in a region; greater than 1 EEZ Only 1 EEZ
Allocated Catch (Number of other marine layers) (LME, ME, HighSeas, RFMO) All areas per marine layer Greater than 1 area per marine layer Only 1 area per marine layer
Allocated Catch (Number of FAO Areas) More than 1 FAO area Only 1 FAO area
Other Geography Geography not previously provided, or if the custom area is cell-based
Columns Additional columns not included on downloading data on web excluding cell data


Other Request Requirements

Primary Production Required

Stock Status plots

Marine Trophic Index

If included with other requests for all EEZs If included with other requests for EEZs in a region or greater than 1 EEZ A unique request that is not included in other catch or cell data requests
Taxon Distribution
CMSY All stocks Less than all stocks
All years Greater than or equal to 20 years but less than all years Less than 20 years
All Marine Ecoregions (ME) MEs in a region; greater than 1 ME Only 1 ME

Cost-recovery Matrix

Rank USD
3 8,000.00
2.9 7,600.00
2.8 7,200.00
2.7 6,800.00
2.6 6,400.00
2.5 6,000.00
2.4 5,600.00
2.3 5,200.00
2.2 4,800.00
2.1 4,400.00
2 4,000.00
1.9 3,600.00
1.8 3,200.00
1.7 2,800.00
1.6 2,400.00
1.5 2,000.00
1.4 1,600.00
1.3 1,200.00
1.2 800.00
1.1 600
1 400

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