Figure 1: Landings and landed value of global marine fisheries: 1950-2005 Source: Based on Sumaila et al. (2007) and Watson et al. (2004)
1.2 Review of the status of global fisheries
The total catch from the world’s marine capture fisheries1 rose from 16.7 million tonnes in 1950 to 80.2 million tonnes in 2005. It reached a peak of 85.3 million tonnes in 1994 (Figure 1). For these 56 years, fish comprised about 86 per cent of the total landings, with crustaceans and molluscs accounting for 6 per cent, and 8 per cent respectively. The
1. Excluding catch of marine mammals, reptiles, aquatic plants and algae.
total landed value (gross output value) of the world’s marine capture fisheries was about US$ 20 billion2
It increased steadily to about US$ 100 billion in the late 1970s and remained at that level throughout the 1980s despite further increases in the total landings (FAO 2005; Sea Around Us project3
; Sumaila et al. 2007; Watson et al. 2004). 2. All values are expressed in real 2005 US$.
3. The Sea Around Us project, compiles a global fishery database based on FAO reports and many other data sources (Pauly 2007).
Box 1: Inland capture fisheries
Around the world, inland fisheries are an increasingly important factor for communities because of increasing consumption per capita and the inability of people to purchase other animal protein. In a recent State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture report, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that inland fisheries generate 10 million tonnes in landings annually; this amounts to about 11 per cent of the total capture fisheries catch from both inland and marine sources (FAO 2009). South- East Asia’s Mekong river system, which is home to more than 850 freshwater species including many economically important species of catfish and carp, is estimated to provide fisheries landings worth around US$ 2 billion per year (Barlow 2008).
Lake Victoria in Africa’s rift valley, the world’s second-largest inland body of water, contains more
than 500 species of freshwater fish. Of these, Nile perch, tilapia and dagaa (a small sardine-like fish) are highly sought-after in commercial fisheries, with landings totalling more than 1 million tonnes per year and a landed-value of US$ 350-400 million.4 Unfortunately, estimates of inland capture landings and value must be viewed with a high degree of uncertainty, owing to a lack of consistent data collection in many countries.
For this reason, it is inherently difficult to include inland capture fisheries into global analysis of the fisheries sector. Nevertheless, many concepts from marine capture fisheries such as over-capacity and subsidisation are also applicable to inland fisheries.