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Economic impact of ocean fish populations in the global fishery

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Journal of Bioeconomics


Our goal in this paper is to estimate the total output in an economy that is currently dependent (at least partially) on current fisheries output. We therefore applied the Leontief technological coefficients at current production and then estimate total output supported throughout the economy at the current level of production. Estimates of gross revenue from capture fisheries suggest that the direct value of output for this sector is US $80–85 billion annually (Sumaila et al., Journal of Bioeconomics 9(1):39–51, 2007; Willmann et al., The Sunken Billions, World Bank, FAO, Washington DC, Rome, 2009). However, as a primary or a potential economic base industry, there are a vast number of secondary economic activities—from boat building to international transport—that are supported by world fisheries, yet these related activities are rarely considered when evaluating the economic impact of fisheries. This study applies an input–output methodology to estimate the total direct, indirect, and induced impact of marine capture fisheries on the world economy. While results suggest that there is a great deal of variation in fishing output multipliers between regions and countries, when we apply the output multipliers to the capture fisheries sector at the global level, we find that significant indirect and induced effects place the impact of this sector to world output nearly three times larger than the value of landings at first sale, at between US $225 and 240 billion per year.

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Correspondence to Andrew J. Dyck.

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Dyck, A.J., Sumaila, U.R. Economic impact of ocean fish populations in the global fishery. J Bioecon 12, 227–243 (2010).

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