By this method it was estimated that 0.97-2.7 trillion wild fish are caught globally each year. Recognising the limitations of the fish-size data available, it is concluded that the number of fish caught is of the order of a trillion. This estimate does not include unrecorded fish capture, such as fish caught illegally and those caught as bycatch and discarded.
A brief description of the study is given on estimate of fish numbers. Full details and results of this study are given below. The study is also described in chapter 19 of Worse things happen at sea: the welfare of wild-caught fish (full report) ( 4,440 KB) and the key results given in Appendix A.
This paper describes the method and discusses the results:
Study to estimate numbers of fish caught in global fishing ( 109 KB)
18 pages. July 2010.
Data web pages
These web pages show fish numbers estimated from FAO capture tonnages and estimated mean weights, and detail how these estimated mean weights were obtained. For greater explanation of these screens, see the guide under ‘More documentation’ below.
Click on the following links to view the data screens. You may need to expand the new window. Screen 2 is accessed from Screen 1 and all other screens, except Screen 8, are accessed via Screen 2:
These spreadsheets give the data shown on the ‘Data web pages’ above. For greater explanation of these, see the guide below:
Spreadsheet1_emws (XLS, 1,922 KB).
Spreadsheet2_refs (XLS, 1,390 KB).
Spreadsheet3_LW_calcs (XLS, 1,040 KB).
Guide to screens and spreadsheets ( 2,460 KB).