Freshwater, Fish and the Future: Proceedings of the Global Cross-Sectoral Conference

A Global Estimate of Theoretical Annual Inland Capture Fisheries Harvest

David Lymer, Felix Marttin, Gerd Marmulla, and Devin M. Bartley

doi: https://doi.org/10.47886/9789251092637.ch7

Abstract .—To better reflect the true value of inland capture fisheries in the international discourse, we provide a new estimate of theoretical annual fisheries harvest from inland waters per continent and type of aquatic habitat. The estimate is based on an assessment of recent estimates of global inland aquatic habitat areas and average yield measurements from these habitats.

We estimate the global theoretical annual inland fisheries harvest to be approximately 72 million metric tons. Our estimates of harvest by continent are on average 6.5 times higher than the official catch data submitted to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Reasons for the higher values in this study are discussed and include the use of improved estimates of global freshwater surface area and yield estimates from a wide variety of water bodies. Improved estimates of the theoretical harvest from inland water capture fisheries would greatly increase the visibility and the importance of the sector and help ensure its proper consideration in policies addressing livelihoods and food security.