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Fisheries catch reconstruction

Aim of the resource

The country-by-country fisheries catch data reconstructions are based on the rationale in Pauly (1998), as first implemented by Zeller et al. (2007). The former contribution asserted (i) there is no fishery with ‘no data’ because fisheries, as social activities throw a shadow unto the other sectors of the economy in which they are embedded, and (ii) it is always worse to put a value of ‘zero’ for the catch of a poorly documented fishery than to estimate its catch, even roughly, because subsequent users of one’s statistics will interpret the zeroes as ‘no catches’, rather than ‘catches unknown’.

Using the resource
Requirements for using the resource:
<p>Zeller<em>&nbsp;et al.</em>&nbsp;(2007) developed a six-step approach for implementing these concepts, as follows:</p>

<li>Identification, sourcing, and comparison of baseline reported catch times series, i.e., a) FAO (or other international reporting entities) reported landings data by FAO statistical areas, taxon and year; and b) national data series by area, taxon and year;</li>
<li>Identification of sectors (e.g., subsistence, recreational), time periods, species, gears etc., not covered by (1), i.e., missing data components. This is conducted via extensive literature searches and consultations with local experts;</li>
<li>Sourcing of available alternative information sources on missing data identified in (2), via extensive searches of the literature (peer-reviewed and grey, both online and in hard copies) and consultations with local experts. Information sources include social science studies (anthropology, economics, etc.), reports, colonial archives, data sets and expert knowledge;</li>
<li>Development of data ‘anchor points’ in time for each missing data component, and expansion of anchor point data to country-wide catch estimates;</li>
<li>Interpolation for time periods between data anchor points, either linearly or assumption-based for commercial fisheries, and generally via per capita (or per-fisher) catch rates for non-commercial sectors; and</li>
<li>Estimation of total catch times series, combining reported catches (1) and interpolated, country-wide expanded missing data series (5).</li>

<p>Since these 6 points were originally proposed, a 7<sup>th</sup>&nbsp;point has come to the fore which cannot be ignored:</p>

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<li>Quantifying the uncertainty associated with each reconstruction.</li>
Potential benefits from using the resource
Allows a country to explore the full value of fisheries to food security and economic development
Potential limitations from using the resource
Requires a training in catch reconstruction
Scale of application:
Practical information
UN languages in which the resource is available:
Development stage:
Full, working product
Contact details

A method providing time-series of marine fisheries catches in the waters within the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) since 1950, the first year that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) produced its annual compendium of global fisheries statistics.


Subregions covered