A database of mapped global fishing activity 1950–2017

Rousseau Y, Blanchard JL, Novaglio C, et al (2024) A database of mapped global fishing activity 1950–2017. Sci Data 11:48. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41597-023-02824-6

A new database on historical country-level fishing fleet capacity and effort is described, derived from a range of publicly available sources that were harmonized, converted to fishing effort, and mapped to 30-min spatial cells. The resulting data is comparable with widely used but more temporally-limited satellite-sourced Automatic Identification System (AIS) datasets for large vessels, while also documenting important smaller fleets and artisanal segments. It ranges from 1950 to 2017, and includes information on number of vessels, engine power, gross tonnage, and nominal effort, categorized by vessel length, gear type and targeted functional groups. The data can be aggregated to Large Marine Ecosystem, region and/or fishing country scales and provides a temporally and spatially explicit source for fishing effort and fleet capacity for studies aimed at understanding the implications of long-term changes in fishing activity in the global ocean.