University of Tasmania
150442 - Substantial gaps in the current fisheries data landscape.pdf (2.47 MB)

Substantial gaps in the current fisheries data landscape

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 08:26 authored by Blasco, GD, Ferraro, DM, Richard CottrellRichard Cottrell, Halpern, BS, Froelich, HE
Effective management of aquatic resources, wild and farmed, has implications for the livelihoods of dependent communities, food security, and ecosystem health. Good management requires information on the status of harvested species, yet many gaps remain in our understanding of these species and systems, in particular the lack of taxonomic resolution of harvested species. To assess these gaps we compared the occurrence of landed species (freshwater and marine) from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) global fisheries production database to those in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List and the RAM Legacy Stock Assessment Database, some of the largest and most comprehensive global datasets of consumed aquatic species. We also quantified the level of resolution and trends in taxonomic reporting for all landed taxa in the FAO database. Of the 1,695 consumed aquatic species or groups in the FAO database considered in this analysis, a large portion (35%) are missing from both of the other two global datasets, either IUCN or RAM, used to monitor, manage, and protect aquatic resources. Only a small number of all fished taxa reported in FAO data (150 out of 1,695; 9%) have both a stock assessment in RAM and a conservation assessment in IUCN. Furthermore, 40% of wild caught landings are not reported to the species level, limiting our ability to effectively account for the environmental impacts of wild harvest. Landings of invertebrates (44%) and landings in Asia (>75%) accounted for the majority of harvest without species specific information in 2018. Assessing the overlap of species which are both farmed and fished to broadly map possible interactions – which can help or hinder wild populations - we found 296 species, accounting for 12% of total wild landings globally, and 103 countries and territories that have overlap in the species caught in the wild and produced through aquaculture. In all, our work highlights that while fisheries management is improving in many areas there remain key gaps in data resolution that are critical for fisheries assessments and conservation of aquatic systems into the future.


Publication title

Frontiers in Marine Science



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Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Frontiers Research Foundation

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Rights statement

Copyright 2020 Blasco, Ferraro, Cottrell, Halpern and Froehlich. This is an openaccess article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY)

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Environmentally sustainable animal production not elsewhere classified; Fisheries - aquaculture not elsewhere classified; Fisheries - wild caught not elsewhere classified