Researchers have been substantially underestimating the total global fisheries’ catches by as much as 50 per cent, according to a new study.
The results are based on “catch-reconstruction”, using scientific literature and asking local experts to help provide missing data. The researchers found increases in catches every year from 1950 to 1996, at which point catches began declining.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) collects data from member countries, however when no data is received the catch is typically marked as zero, which may not provide an accurate reflection of global fishery catches.
Additionally the authors believe some member nations may not include their full catch value, as they may exclude small-scale recreational fishing, or discarded or illegal catches.
Original research paper published in Nature Communications on January 19, 2015.
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