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Catches by major species and areas

Indicator Fact Sheet (Deprecated)expired
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This content has been archived on 03 Mar 2015, reason: Other (New version data-and-maps/indicators/status-of-marine-fish-stocks-2/assessment was published)

Assessment made on  01 May 2004

Generic metadata


Fisheries Fisheries (Primary theme)

Coasts and seas Coasts and seas

Water Water

DPSIR: Pressure


Indicator codes
  • FISH 011
Geographic coverage:

Policy issue:  Are we achieving sustainable marine fishing?


Key assessment

Total fish landings of all species in all sea regions (North East Atlantic Ocean (including the Baltic Sea), Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea and Arctic Ocean) have increased by 20 % (1.6 million tonnes) between 1990 and 2000. (The Caspian and Aral Seas are not included, as these are considered to be "inland waters" by FAO.) This is largely due to an increase in landings by vessels of the EU 15 + EFTA, which account for an average of 93 % of total European (EEA) landings by weight.

  • Landings by EU 15 + EFTA vessels increased by 19 % (1.59 million tonnes)
  • Landings by AC13 + Balkan vessels increased by 30 % (190 000 tonnes)

  • Landings reached a peak in 1997 of over 12 million tonnes and declined to 11 million tonnes in 2000. Increases or decreases in landings do not, however, signal a healthy or unhealthy fishing industry or environment, as increases in fish landings may be driven by either increasing amounts of available fish or increasing fishing effort. Similarly, decreasing landings may be the result of a lack of available fish or a change in management measures or fishing patterns.

    The seas around Europe contribute the majority of landings by European countries i.e. European countries are not heavily dependent on landings from distant waters (all sea areas outside of the North East Atlantic Ocean, Baltic Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea and Arctic Ocean). Since 1990, the dependence on landings from distant waters has declined from 21 % (2.5 million tonnes) to 8 % (0.9 million tonnes).


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