An analysis of historical national reports
of inland capture fishery statistics in the
Asia-Pacific region (1950-2007)
David Lymer and Simon Funge-Smith
RAP PUBLICATION 2009/18
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
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For reference please use the following:
Lymer D. & S. Funge-Smith (2009). An analysis of historical national reports of inland capture
fisheries statistics in the Asia-Pacific region (1950-2007). FAO Regional Office for Asia and Pacific.
RAP Publication 2009/18, 18 pp.
Inland capture fisheries in the Asia-Pacific region are undoubtedly some of the most important fisheries of the world and are feeding and employing millions of people in rural and riparian areas throughout eastern, southeastern and southern Asia. The massive, dispersed nature of many inland fisheries activities has challenged systems of information and data collection ever since trying to account for these fisheries as early as the 1700s. Since 1950, FAO has requested its member countries to report inland fisheries capture statistics as part of their fisheries reporting to the Organization. From these reported data, there is an apparent increasing trend in the production of global and regional inland fisheries during the period 1950-2007. However, it is not clear when viewing aggregated statistics whether this is due to an aggregated increase in production from all countries’ inland fisheries, or due to large, occasional increases from individual countries. Moreover, there are many instances of unreported (or under-reported) catch in inland fisheries owing to the diffuse and small-scale nature of individual fisheries. This document presents the statistics for the region and examines the way in which large changes in inland catch data were identified and how the catch data were adjusted. The results of the study offer insight into the implications for interpreting trends in inland fisheries.