Official figures gravely underplay fish catch

Sci Dev Net

Up to 30 per cent of all fish caught globally could be missing from official figures because of unreliable data on illegal fishing and small, local fisheries, researchers believe.

They estimate that around 109 million tonnes of fish are caught each year, compared with an official total of 77 million tonnes reported in 2010 by the Food and Agriculture Organization (see graphic).

Fish catch weight also fell by 16 per cent from the mid-1990s through overfishing despite global efforts to control fisheries and manage fish stocks sustainably, say the authors of the study, which was published in Nature Communications on 19 January.

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