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Rome, 1997

FAO Fisheries Circular No. 920 FIRM/C920

ISSN 0429-9329

Marine Resources Service,
Fishery Resources Division,
Fisheries Department,
FAO, Rome, Italy


This section contains Tables I to XVII referred to in the regional reviews (Section B) and the global review on tunas (Section C). Since these tables summarize information that is supplementary to that provided in previous sections, reference should be made to the pertaining regional or global reviews for further details and clarification regarding the fish resources in each FAO Statistical Area. Each table includes for each of the main stocks or group of species in the Area a short list of the main fishing countries, catch data for each year from 1988 to 1994 and ten-year averages from 1950 to 1980, as well as a brief annotation on their state of exploitation. Grand totals of marine aquaculture, total production (capture and aquaculture) and total marine capture are included at the end of each table. Brief notes describing the criteria and symbols used in the following tables are provided below.


Catches and landings

All catches and landings are expressed in tons and are rounded to the nearest thousand. The main sources of the catch and landing information are:

- FAO Yearbook of Fishery Statistics (catches and landings), FAO, Rome

- FAO Fishery Data Base, FISHBASE, FAO, Rome

- CECAF Statistical Bulletins (for the Eastern Central Atlantic, Area 34)

- GFCM Statistical Bulletins (for the Mediterranean and Black Sea, Area 37)

- Various national and regional bulletins and reports (for various Areas)

Stock or species groups

Includes selected exploited or exploitable stocks or groups of species. Criteria for selection includes high volume of current or historical catches, high commercial value and high potential for development. These have been grouped by FAO ISSCAAP (International Standard Statistical Classification of Aquatic Animals and Plants) species group.

Main fishing countries

Countries are listed in ranking order by catch size in the latest recorded year.

State of exploitation

The state of exploitation as shown by the abbreviations below represents our best estimate of the state of the stock, its potential for increased production or requirement for stock recovery. The estimates are based on the best information available, which may include the results of peer-reviewed published reports as well as the analysis of qualitative data and information whose reliability may vary from one region to another as well as between stocks or groups of the same or of different species within the same area.

? (or blank) = Not known or uncertain. Not much information is available to make a judgment;
U = Underexploited, undeveloped or new fishery. Believed to have a significant potential for expansion in total production;
M = Moderately exploited, exploited with a low level of fishing effort. Believed to have some limited potential for expansion in total production;
F = Fully exploited. The fishery is operating at or close to an optimal yield level, with no expected room for further expansion; (*)
O = Overexploited. The fishery is being exploited at above a level which is believed to be sustainable in the long term, with no potential room for further expansion and a higher risk of stock depletion/collapse;
D = Depleted. Catches are well below historical levels, irrespective of the amount of fishing effort exerted;
R = Recovering. Catches are again increasing after a collapse from a previous high.

(*) Category F above remains equivalent in usage to that in previous editions of this review, even though the word 'heavily' used in earlier editions has been eliminated from the former 'F = fully/heavily exploited' category to avoid the confusion which arose with the category 'O = Overexploited'.