Fishery is the enterprise of raising or harvesting fish
and other aquatic life. Commercial fisheries include wild fisheries and fish farms
, both in fresh water
(about 10% of all catch) and the oceans (about 90%). About 500 million people worldwide are economically dependent on fisheries. 171 million tonnes of fish were produced in 2016, but overfishing
is an increasing problem -- causing declines in some populations. Recreational fishing is popular in many locations, particularly North America, Europe, New Zealand, and Australia.
Because of their economic and social importance, fisheries are governed by complex fishery management practices
and legal regimes
, that vary widely among country. Historically, fisheries were treated with a first-come first serve approach; however threats by human overfishing and environmental issues, have required increased regulation of fisheries to prevent conflict and increase profitable economic activity on the fishery. Modern jurisdiction over fisheries is often established by a mix of international treaties and local laws.
Declining fish populations, human pollution in the oceans
, and destruction of important coastal ecosystems has introduced increasing uncertainty in important fisheries worldwide, threatening economic security
and food security
in many parts of the world. These challenges are further complicated by the changes in the ocean caused by climate change
, which may extend the range of some fisheries while dramatically reducing the sustainability of other fisheries. International attention to these issues has been captured in Sustainable Development Goal 14
"Life Below Water" which sets goals for international policy focused on preserving coastal ecosystems and supporting more sustainable economic practices
for coastal communities, including in their fishery and aquaculture
[United Nations (2017) Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 6 July 2017, Work of the Statistical Commission pertaining to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development]
According to the FAO
, "...a fishery is an activity leading to harvesting of fish. It may involve capture of wild fish or raising of fish through aquaculture." It is typically defined in terms of the "people involved, species or type of fish, area of water or seabed, method of fishing
, class of boats, purpose of the activities or a combination of the foregoing features".
The definition often includes a combination of fish and fishers
in a region, the latter fishing for similar species with similar gear types. Some government and private organizations, especially those focusing on recreational fishing
include in their definitions not only the fishers, but the fish and habitats upon which the fish depend.
Directly or indirectly, the livelihood of over 500 million people in developing countries depends on fisheries and aquaculture
, including the taking of fish beyond sustainable levels
, is reducing fish stock
s and employment in many world regions. A report by Prince Charles
' International Sustainability Unit, the New York-based Environmental Defence Fund and 50in10 published in July 2014 estimated global fisheries were adding US$270 billion a year to global GDP
, but by full implementation of sustainable fishing, that figure could rise by as much as US$50 billion.
In additional to commercial and subsistence fishing, recreational (sport) fishing is popular and economically important in many regions.
The term ''fish''
* In biology
– the term ''fish'' is most strictly used to describe any animal with a backbone
that has gill
s throughout life and has limbs
, if any, in the shape of fin
s. Many types of aquatic animal
s commonly referred to as ''fish'' are not fish in this strict sense
; examples include shellfish
. In earlier times, even biologist
s did not make a distinction—sixteenth century natural historian
s classified also seals
s, even hippopotamus
es, as well as a host of marine invertebrate
s, as fish.
* In fisheries – the term ''fish'' is used as a collective term, and includes mollusk
s and any aquatic animal
which is harvested.
* True fish – The strict biological definition of a fish, above, is sometimes called a true fish. True fish are also referred to as ''finfish'' or ''fin fish'' to distinguish them from other aquatic life
harvested in fisheries or aquaculture.
The fishing industry
which harvests fish from fisheries can be divided into three main sectors: commercial
. They can be saltwater
. Examples are the salmon
fishery of Alaska
, the cod
fishery off the Lofoten
islands, the tuna
fishery of the Eastern Pacific
, or the shrimp farm
fisheries in China
. Capture fisheries can be broadly classified as industrial scale, small-scale or artisanal, and recreational.
Close to 90% of the world's fishery catches come from ocean
s and sea
s, as opposed to inland waters. These marine catches have remained relatively stable since the mid-nineties (between 80 and 86 million tonnes). Most marine fisheries are based near the coast
. This is not only because harvesting from relatively shallow waters is easier than in the open ocean, but also because fish are much more abundant near the coastal shelf
, due to the abundance of nutrient
s available there from coastal upwelling
and land runoff
. However, productive wild fisheries also exist in open oceans, particularly by seamount
s, and inland in lakes and rivers.
Most fisheries are wild fisheries
, but farmed fisheries
are increasing. Farming can occur in coastal areas, such as with oyster farms
[New Zealand Seafood Industry Council]
/ref> or the aquaculture of salmon, but more typically fish farming occurs inland, in lakes, ponds, tanks and other enclosures.
There are commercial fisheries worldwide for finfish, mollusks, crustaceans and echinoderms, and by extension, aquatic plants such as kelp. However, a very small number of species support the majority of the world's fisheries. Some of these species are herring, cod, anchovy, tuna, flounder, mullet, squid, shrimp, salmon, crab, lobster, oyster and scallops. All except these last four provided a worldwide catch of well over a million tonnes in 1999, with herring and sardines together providing a harvest of over 22 million metric tons in 1999. Many other species are harvested in smaller numbers.
Total fish production in 2016 reached an all-time high of 171 million tonnes, of which 88 percent was utilized for direct human consumption, thanks to relatively stable capture fisheries production, reduced wastage and continued aquaculture growth. This production resulted in a record-high per capita consumption of 20.3 kg in 2016.
Since 1961 the annual global growth in fish consumption has been twice as high as population growth. While annual growth of aquaculture has declined in recent years, significant double-digit growth is still recorded in some countries, particularly in Africa and Asia.
FAO predicts the following major trends for the period up to 2030:
* World fish production, consumption and trade are expected to increase, but with a growth rate that will slow over time.
* Despite reduced capture fisheries production in China, world capture fisheries production is projected to increase slightly through increased production in other areas if resources are properly managed. Expanding world aquaculture production, although growing more slowly than in the past, is anticipated to fill the supply–demand gap.
* Prices will all increase in nominal terms while declining in real terms, although remaining high.
* Food fish supply will increase in all regions, while per capita fish consumption is expected to decline in Africa, which raises concerns in terms of food security.
* Trade in fish and fish products is expected to increase more slowly than in the past decade, but the share of fish production that is exported is projected to remain stable.
* Fishing industry
* Fisheries management
* Fisheries science
* List of harvested aquatic animals by weight
* National Fish Habitat Initiative
* Ocean fisheries
* Tailrace fishing
* Tanka people
* Population dynamics of fisheries
* Sea Fish Industry Authority
* Regional Fisheries Management Organisation
* Cullis-Suzuki S and Pauly D (2010
"Failing the high seas: A global evaluation of regional fisheries management organizations"
''Marine Policy'', 34(5) pp 1036–1042.
Types of fisheries
* Hart PJB and Reynolds JD (2002
''Handbook of fish biology and fisheries''
FAO Fisheries Department
The Fishery Resources Monitoring System (FIRMS)
The International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET)
Dynamic Changes in Marine Ecosystems: Fishing, Food Webs, and Future Options (2006)
U.S. National Academy of Sciences
UNEP/GEF South China Sea Project
Fisheries Refugia Portal
* ttp://ocean.si.edu/blog/seafood-thought World Fisheries Day: Seafood for Thoughtan
World Fisheries from Sea to Table slideshow
on the Smithsonian Ocean Portal
A detailed online encyclopaedia providing current and quantitative information on marine fisheries worldwide.