Estimation of fisheries removals and primary economic impact of the small-scale and industrial marine fisheries in Colombia
Colombia has coasts on both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, but its marine fisheries are limited by the relatively small size of commercially important stocks. However, diverse fishery resources have traditionally been exploited by coastal communities, and industrial fisheries have grown in recent years with the intensification of tuna fishing in both oceans. The management of Colombia's fisheries has been hampered by frequent administrative changes, which has notably led to the disappearance of a part of the official landings data. We estimated total fisheries removals (reported plus discards and unreported catches) in the Colombian Atlantic and Pacific Oceans for the period 1950-2006. We used secondary sources of information to estimate missing data, and we estimated subsistence fishing and the unreported by-catches of the shrimp and tuna fisheries. We used available information on seafood prices to estimate the relative economic impact (gross revenues) of the small-scale and industrial sectors for the period 2000-2006. Our results suggest that for the period 1950-2006, the Colombian marine fisheries catches may have been almost twice the landings reported by FAO on behalf of the country (2.8 times higher in the Atlantic; 1.3 times higher in the Pacific). Although the total gross revenues of industrial fisheries were higher than those of the small-scale sector, the latter commanded higher gross revenues in the Atlantic in 2006.
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