Wealthy countries dominate industrial fishing

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Aug 01, 2018
Douglas J. McCauley, Caroline Jablonicky, Edward H. Allison, Christopher D. Golden, Francis H. Joyce, Juan Mayorga, and David Kroodsma



The patterns by which different nations share global fisheries influence outcomes for food security, trajectories of economic development, and competition between industrial and small-scale fishing. We report patterns of industrial fishing effort for vessels flagged to higher- and lower-income nations, in marine areas within and beyond national jurisdiction, using analyses of high-resolution fishing vessel activity data. These analyses reveal global dominance of industrial fishing by wealthy nations. Vessels flagged to higher-income nations, for example, are responsible for 97% of the trackable industrial fishing on the high seas and 78% of such effort within the national waters of lower-income countries. These publicly accessible vessel tracking data have important limitations. However, insights from these new analyses can begin to strategically inform important international- and national-level efforts underway now to ensure equitable and sustainable sharing of fisheries.

Read the full article in Science Advances.

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