In the last four decades, the growth in global fish consumption has been almost twice as high as the population growth1, indicating that fisheries and aquaculture will be indispensable for feeding future generations. Unfortunately, decades of overfishing have decimated natural fish populations around the world and even though significant progress toward biologically sustainable fisheries has been achieved, the percentage of overfished stocks is still rising1. This week, the International Symposium on Fisheries Sustainability, organised by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome, focussed on finding solutions to this problem and further increasing the sustainability of the fisheries and aquaculture sector.
In the European Union, sustainable fisheries are implemented by the Common Fisheries Policy, which sets catch limits using fish stock assessments in order to protect both the fish populations and marine environment as well as the fishermen and consumers that depend on them. A crucial component in enforcing this policy is the collection of fisheries data like catch, landing, sales and container transshipment volumes. This data collection effort is facilitated by Electronic Recording and Reporting system (ERS). It consists of an electronic logbook where the captain of a fishing vessel keeps a record of its fishing operations. The record is then sent to the national authorities of the vessels country, which store the information in a secure database. The map of the week features the European ports equipped with the ERS system.
The data in this map were provided by the European Commission.