Title

The contribution of lakes to global inland fisheries harvest

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-1-2017

Abstract

© The Ecological Society of America Freshwater ecosystems provide numerous services for communities worldwide, including irrigation, hydropower, and municipal water; however, the services provided by inland fisheries – nourishment, employment, and recreational opportunities – are often comparatively undervalued. We provide an independent estimate of global lake harvest to improve biological and socioeconomic assessments of inland fisheries. On the basis of satellite-derived estimates of chlorophyll concentration from 80,012 globally distributed lakes, lake-specific fishing effort based on human population, and output from a Bayesian hierarchical model, we estimated that the global lake fishery harvest in the year 2011 was 8.4 million tons (mt). Our calculations excluded harvests from highly productive rivers, wetlands, and very small lakes; therefore, the true cumulative global fishery harvest from all freshwater sources likely exceeded 11 mt as reported by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). This putative underestimate by the FAO could diminish the perceived importance of inland fisheries and perpetuate decisions that adversely affect these fisheries and millions of people.

Publication Title

Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment

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