Reg Watson has just published an impressive new article on global fisheries statistics. Watson works at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania in Australia. He has looked at commercial and small-scale fishing as well as IUU catches around the world. This is the abstract:
Global fisheries landings data from a range of public sources was harmonised and mapped to 30-min spatial cells based on the distribution of the reported taxa and the fishing fleets involved. This data was extended to include the associated fishing gear used, as well as estimates of illegal, unregulated and unreported catch (IUU) and discards at sea. Expressed as catch rates, these results also separated small-scale fisheries from other fishing operations.
The dataset covers 1950 to 2014 inclusive. Mapped catch allows study of the impacts of fisheries on habitats and fauna, on overlap with the diets of marine birds and mammals, and on the related use of fuels and release of greenhouse gases. The fine-scale spatial data can be aggregated to the exclusive economic zone claims of countries and will allow study of the value of landed marine products to their economies and food security, and to those of their trading partners.
The complete article is available as open access research and is well worth a read. It can be found here.