Overview of World Status of Data-Limited Fisheries: Inferences from Landings Statistics

Overview of World Status of Data-Limited Fisheries: Inferences from Landings Statistics

Marcelo Vasconcellos and Kevern Cochrane

Overview of World Status of Data-Limited Fisheries: Inferences from Landings StatisticsThis is part of Fisheries Assessment and Management in Data-Limited Situations
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Description

Data-limited fisheries are here considered to be fisheries lacking sufficient reliable biological information to infer the exploitation status of the targeted stocks. Considering species-specific catch data as the common minimum available data for assessing the status of a stock, in this paper we use the taxonomic breakdown of the reported landings statistics to FAO to make an approximate inference of data limitation of fisheries by region, country, and taxonomic groups. The paper also explores the possibility of extracting meaningful biological information from fisheries landings by applying a Bayesian approach to two selected fisheries. The contribution of data-poor fisheries to the world landings from marine capture fisheries is relatively low, but increasing (from 20 to 30% of world landings in the last 50 years). However, data limitation can be a substantial problem at the regional and country level, especially in areas with high species diversity, small stock sizes, and where fisheries play an important role for food security. Preliminary modeling results indicate that catch data, when combined with prior information about the dynamics of similar species/stocks and fisheries, could be useful for informing fisheries management in data-limited situations.

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