The economic value of inland fisheries

Andy Thorpe, Carlos Zepeda Castillo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The economic value of inland freshwater fisheries catches (as reported to FAO) is estimated to be approximately USD 26 billion. The major contributions to this come from Asia (66.1 percent) and Africa (22.2 percent). It is acknowledged that a significant proportion of the inland catch is “hidden” and unreported, however as a result of improved reporting, this proportion is likely to have reduced over the past few years. Including this hidden component gives a projected estimate of the total use value of inland freshwater fisheries of USD 38.53 billion. This value is increased to USD 43.53 billion if the value of freshwater molluscs and crustaceans is included. The value of capture fisheries is somewhat dwarfed by the use values generated by recreational fishing. With a 2015 non-market use value (NMUV) of recreational fishing estimated to lie somewhere between USD 64.55 billion and USD 78.55 billion. The United States of America and Canada account for almost 72 percent of this value. It is considered that the NMUV is almost certainly an underestimate because of the lack of data from Africa and limited data from Asia and Latin America, despite their burgeoning recreational fishing activity. Aggregating the NMUV of inland recreational fisheries and the UV of inland capture fisheries indicates that the total UV of the inland fishery sector is worth an estimatedUSD 108 billion to USD 122 billion annually. If the costs of capture, that is the value added ratio (VAR), are discounted, the gross value added (GVA) of inland capture and freshwater recreational fisheries is still between USD 90 billion and USD 100 billion.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReview of the State of the World Fishery Resources: Inland Fisheries
EditorsSimon Funge-Smith
Place of PublicationRome
PublisherFood and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Number of pages40
ISBN (Print)978-92-5-130793-9
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameFAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Circular
NumberC942/Revision 3
ISSN (Print)2070-6065


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