Chapter 10. Fisheries


Category Description

Global fisheries are a critical resource for food security, as well as employment and income. Fish also function as an integral part of marine ecosystems. In virtually all developing countries, fisheries provide vital sources of protein and micronutrients (Golden et al., 2016, p. 317). As of 2014, more than 56 million people worked in capture fishing and aquaculture (FAO, 2016, p. 5). Despite their global importance and growing attention to overfishing, fish stocks continue to decline across most of the world. Unsustainable fishing emerges as the main cause of this decline, with 31% of stocks considered overfished (WWF, 2016, p. 38). Experts predict this decline will continue into the future, as no fish stocks are expected to be underexploited within 20 years (Pauly & Zeller, 2017, p. 178). Dramatic changes in fisheries management are needed to protect global marine systems, and the societies dependent on these resources.

Indicators Included

The EPI utilizes two indicators to evaluate country performance in fisheries management: fish stock status and Regional Marine Trophic Index (RMTI).

  1. Fish stock status: This indicator is based on an assessment of the percentage of fish stocks caught within a country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) that are overexploited or collapsed.
  2. RMTI: This indicator is a measure of the mean trophic level of fish caught by a country, which represents the overall health of the ecosystem.
Fisheries Indicators

Fish stock status

% of catch