Research ArticleENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES

The economics of fishing the high seas

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Science Advances  06 Jun 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 6, eaat2504
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aat2504
  • Fig. 1 The high-seas fishing fleet.

    High-seas vessels by flag state and gear type, as detected by GFW in 2016.

  • Fig. 2 Global patterns of fishing in the high seas.

    (A) Fishing effort, (B) economic costs, (C) revenue (landed value of the catch), (D) profits before subsidies, (E) profits after subsidies, and (F) profits after subsidies and low labor costs. Values for costs and profits are scaled averages between lower and upper bound estimates.

  • Fig. 3 Net economic benefit of high-seas fishing.

    Range of estimates of fishing profits (US$ millions) before (π) and after (π*) subsidies for (A) major fishing countries and (B) gear types.

  • Fig. 4 National patterns of fishing in the high seas.

    Average high-seas fishing profits with and without subsidies for the five main fishing flag states.

  • Fig. 5 Spatial patterns of high-seas fishing profits.

    (A) FAO regions, (B) profits before subsidies by country, and (C) fishing gear.

  • Table 1 The economics of fishing in the high seas.

    Catch (in thousand metric tons), revenue, costs, subsidies, and profits without subsidies (π) and with subsidies (π*) for each country. All monetary values reported in million US dollars. These 14 countries accounted for 90% of the high-seas catch.

    CatchRevenueCostsπSubsidiesπ*
    Lower boundUpper boundLower boundUpper boundLower boundUpper bound
    Global4391765662288020−3641428418538215613
    China1523162415632041−418604181479
    Taiwan54598310481220−237−652446179
    South Korea403807553605202254409612664
    Spain248637434492145203603749807
    Japan21381663963917717784110181018
    Ecuador194271951868517622107198
    Indonesia192384178260123206102226308
    Russia188195153309−1144212−10254
    Mexico107252811846817032100202
    United States93377100162216278256471533
    Norway8610777881930143343
    France582357886148157195344352
    Seychelles55502650−12410933
    Panama5510432663872256398

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary material for this article is available at http://advances.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/4/6/eaat2504/DC1

    Supplementary Materials and methods

    fig. S1. Distributions of vessel characteristics, high-seas fishing effort relative to total fishing effort, and nonlinear relationships between length, tonnage, and engine power.

    fig. S2. Vessel encounters on the high seas (2016).

    fig. S3. Fishing effort by gear type.

    fig. S4. Effort versus catch.

    table S1. High-seas fishing fleets and effort by country (2016).

    table S2. High-seas fishing fleets and fishing effort by gear type.

    table S3. AIS coverage of high-seas fleet and scale factors by country, Regional Fisheries Management Organization, gear type, and vessel size in 2016.

    table S4. Average labor costs per day by country, gear type, and vessel size class.

    table S5. High-seas costs, catch, revenue, subsidies, and profits by country.

    table S6. High-seas fishing costs by reefers and bunker vessels per flag state.

    table S7. Summary of high-seas economics by country, gear type, and FAO region (scaled results).

    References (5155)

  • Supplementary Materials

    This PDF file includes:

    • Supplementary Materials and methods
    • fig. S1. Distributions of vessel characteristics, high-seas fishing effort relative to total fishing effort, and nonlinear relationships between length, tonnage, and engine power.
    • fig. S2. Vessel encounters on the high seas (2016).
    • fig. S3. Fishing effort by gear type.
    • fig. S4. Effort versus catch.
    • table S1. High-seas fishing fleets and effort by country (2016).
    • table S2. High-seas fishing fleets and fishing effort by gear type.
    • table S3. AIS coverage of high-seas fleet and scale factors by country, Regional Fisheries Management Organization, gear type, and vessel size in 2016.
    • table S4. Average labor costs per day by country, gear type, and vessel size class.
    • table S5. High-seas costs, catch, revenue, subsidies, and profits by country.
    • table S6. High-seas fishing costs by reefers and bunker vessels per flag state.
    • table S7. Summary of high-seas economics by country, gear type, and FAO region (scaled results).
    • References (51–55)

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