Document Type

Internship Report

Publication Date

Fall 2013


o date, few studies have attempted to estimate the number of global fisheries in terms of distinct management schemes. The main goal of this study was to emphasize management objectives as crucial components of fisheries that can thus shape their definition, governance, development, and sustainability. The number of fisheries within each fishing nation was counted using the FAO Fishery and Aquaculture Country Profiles as the primary source. After the counts were made for each fishing nation, a number of methods were employed to analyze the numbers of fisheries reported within each nation and among nations. The FAO numbers derived from the country profiles were compared with numbers derived from outside sources, such as information from in-country fisheries experts or governmental fisheries management documents, and analyses were made in order to explore the presence of a trend in reporting fisheries numbers. After no apparent trends were found and all available resources were consulted, an estimate was made for countries whose FAO reports recorded unlikely, low numbers of fisheries by applying ratios of fisheries numbers from those countries that were compared. Numbers from the FAO profiles were added to the applied ratio estimates in order to achieve an estimate of global fisheries. A total of 4,057 fisheries were estimated from the information provided for in the FAO Fishery and Aquaculture Profiles alone. After analyzing the data and conducting the final estimate, the total number of fisheries was estimated to be between ~30,000 to ~40,000 fisheries. While this study is not the most comprehensive and complete attempt at estimating a total number of fisheries globally, it has generated information on available fisheries data resources and has highlighted fisheries data gaps that might serve as useful information for others looking to estimate fisheries numbers or quantify distinct fisheries management schemes within countries.


Department: MAF

MPS Track: MCO

Location: Environmental Defense Fund

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