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General overview

FAO is the only source of comprehensive global fishery statistics. Consequently, most reviews of the state of world fisheries, past trends and future prospects rely on FAO statistics. FAO analyses statistics in order to monitor various aspects of world fisheries:

  • capture fisheries production;
  • aquaculture production;
  • production and trade of fishery commodities;
  • fish consumption;
  • fishery fleets;
  • employment in fisheries.

Based on these analyses, FAO prepares advice on fisheries policy to member countries. There is a wide range of other users of FAO fishery statistics, including fisheries policy makers, managers, researchers, development agencies, industry representatives, trade organizations, governments, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, journalists and consulting companies.

International cooperation

Building up data on world fisheries requires a truly international effort. International classifications and standardized data submission procedures must be maintained to ensure that statistics are comparable across countries so as to allow for summation and analyses at regional and global level.

Fisheries statistics are usually obtained from national reporting offices and, wherever possible, verified with other sources. Estimates are produced when data are lacking or are considered unreliable. Statistics are stored in databases and disseminated through publications, electronic media and the Internet. Aggregated data are also available through the FAO corporate statistical database on its Web site.

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