Consumption of seafood has increased steadily over the past several decades and this trend is expected to continue with projected increases in global population and affluence. Wild capture fisheries catches have likely reached their peak, and therefore any significant increase in future fish supply is expected to come primarily from aquaculture. However, aquaculture continues to rely on wild stocks by using fishmeal to support culture of fed species. Recently, concerns regarding wild fish populations have led to calls for the closure of the high seas (i.e., international waters) to fishing. Such a policy would decrease marine fish catch in the short term while potentially increasing future catch. Here, we assess the potential impacts of closing the high seas to fishing on marine fish catch that goes to reduction into fishmeal. We quantify the potential effects of these changes on the price of fishmeal and profitability of the global aquaculture industry. Not surprisingly, we find a stronger effect of closing the high seas to fishing for high-value carnivorous species such as shrimp and salmonids. Overall, however, our study suggests that the impact of closing the high seas to fishing on aquaculture is likely to be insignificant.
The immense challenges associated with realizing ocean and coastal sustainability require highly skilled interdisciplinary marine scientists. However, the barriers experienced by early career researchers (ECRs) seeking to address these challenges, and the support required to overcome those barriers, are not well understood.
Despite worldwide demand for tuna products and considerable conservation interest by civil society, no single global dataset exists capturing the spatial extent of all catches from fisheries for large pelagic species across all ocean basins. Efforts to spatially quantify the historical catch of global tuna fisheries have been restricted to the few taxa of major economic interest, creating a truncated view of the true extent of the fisheries for tuna and other large pelagic fishes. Individual Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs) have given varying degrees of attention to minor taxa and non-target species only in more recent years. Here, we compiled and harmonized public datasets of nominal landed catches, as well as spatial data on reported catches of large pelagic taxa reported for the industrial tuna and large pelagic fisheries by tuna RFMOs for the last 60+ years. Furthermore, we provide a preliminary estimate of marine finfishes discarded by these fisheries. We spatialized these data to create a publicly available, comprehensive dataset presenting the historical reported landed catches plus preliminary discards of these species in space for 1950–2016. Our findings suggest that current public reporting efforts are insufficient to fully and transparently document the global historical extent of fisheries for tuna and other large pelagic fishes. Further harmonization of our findings with data from small-scale tuna fisheries could contribute to a fuller picture of global tuna and large pelagic fisheries.
A third of global fish stocks are overexploited and many are economically underperforming, resulting in potential unrealized net economic benefits of USD 51 to 83 billion annually. However, this aggregate view, while useful for global policy discussion, may obscure the view for those actors who engage at a regional level. Therefore, we develop a method to associate large companies with their fishing operations and evaluate the biological sustainability of these operations. We link current fish biomass levels and landings to the revenue streams of the companies under study to compute potentially unrealized fisheries revenues and profits at the level of individual firms. We illustrate our method using two case studies: anchoveta (Engraulis ringens; Engraulidae) in Peru and menhaden in the USA (Brevoortia patronus and B. tyrannus;Clupeidae). We demonstrate that both these fisheries could potentially increase their revenues compared to the current levels of exploitation. We estimate the net but unrealized fishery benefits for the companies under question. This information could be useful to investors and business owners who might want to be aware of the actual fisheries performance options of the companies they invest in.
Ex-vessel fish prices are essential for comprehensive fisheries management and socioeconomic analyses for fisheries science. In this paper, we reconstructed a global ex-vessel price database with the following areas of improvement: (1) compiling reported prices explicitly listed as “for reduction to fishmeal and fish oil” to estimate prices separately for catches destined for fishmeal and fish oil production, and other non-direct human consumption purposes; (2) including 95% confidence limit estimates for each price estimation; and (3) increasing the number of input data and the number of price estimates to match the reconstructed Sea Around Us catch database. Our primary focus was to address this first area of improvement as ex-vessel prices for catches destined for non-direct human consumption purposes were substantially overestimated, notably in countries with large reduction fisheries. For example in Peru, 2010 landed values were estimated as 3.8 billion real 2010 USD when using separate prices for reduction fisheries, compared with 5.8 billion using previous methods with only one price for all end-products. This update of the price database has significant global and country-specific impacts on fisheries price and landed value trends over time.