FAO Fisheries Department

Review of the state of world marine fishery resources



Marine fisheries are very important to the economy and well-being of coastal communities, providing food security, job opportunities, income and livelihoods as

well as traditional cultural identity. Maintaining the long-term prosperity and sustainability of marine fisheries is not only of political and social significance but also of economic and ecological importance. FAO has just published the Review of the state of world marine fishery resources, a comprehensive, objective and global review of the state of the living marine resources of the oceans. It is based mainly on official catch statistics up until 2009 and relevant stock assessment and other complementary information available until 2010. The document summarizes the information available for each FAO Statistical Area; discusses the major trends and changes that have occurred with the main fishery resources exploited in each area; and reviews the stock assessment work undertaken in support of fisheries management in each region.

The total production of marine fishery resources has declined gradually after reaching a peak in landings in 1996. The world’s fisheries and aquaculture sectors have gone through a dramatic development in the last 60 years with large increases in production: total world fish production was only 19.3 million tonnes in 1950 and by 2009 reached 163 million tonnes.