Coordinating Working Party on Fishery Statistics (CWP)

Data collection systems

The CWP Member Organizations' main instrument for the collection of fishery data from the national authorities is the STATLANT system of questionnaires. The essential feature of this system is that the questionnaires are in a standard format and use harmonised concepts, definitions and codes. On any one topic the national statistical authorities are requested to complete a single questionnaire, providing copies to all interested agencies. This procedure also largely reduces the possibility of discrepancies between different databases.

The STATLANT system of questionnaires is a long-standing standardized statistical inquiry developed by the CWP for the submission of national catch data to international fisheries agencies by national reporting offices. Although the species and fishing areas for which data are requested vary from region to region, the questionnaires are of a standardized format and employ harmonized concepts, classifications and definitions.

The STATLANT A questionnaires cover the reporting of annual catch data, requesting a breakdown of the catches by species and statistical sub-divisions of the relevant FAO major fishing area, coinciding as appropriate with the existing fishery management and conservation body, member of the CWP. The STATLANT A questionnaires currently in use are the following: 08A, 21A, 27A, 34A, 37A, 41A, 47A and 51A.

The STATLANT B questionnaire covers the reporting of the annual data on catches and the associated fishing effort, requesting a breakdown by species, statistical sub-division of the FAO major fishing area, by month of capture, by fishing gear, by size class of fishing vessel and by target species. Currently only the STATLANT 21B and STATLANT 08B questionnaires are in use, for the reporting of data on the Northwest Atlantic to NAFO, and data on the Antarctic to CCAMLR.

The STATPAC reporting system of questionnaires are intended to cover areas in the Pacific restricted at present to one only: Southeast Pacific with STATPAC 87A.

The FISHSTAT reporting system of questionnaires is used by FAO and adopted by some CWP Members (e.g. Eurostat and SEAFDEC) to collate global statistics covering every phase of the fishery structure. A list of fishery questionnaires is presented in FAO statistical questionnaries for reporting fishery data (former ANNEX T.I).

All fishery questionnaires and notes for completion are available in electronic format on the FAO site here.