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Review of Fishing and Its Global Footprint

Thanks to Global Fishing Watch, a new partnership between Oceana, SkyTruth, and Google, scientists may be getting closer to figuring out how much of the world’s ocean is fished—but discrepancies in the scale of data are producing wildly different answers.

One of the first major publications to come out of these AIS data attempted to map the ‘global footprint’ of fishing. It concluded that 55% of the global ocean was fished. However a recent paper, using the exact same data, concluded that only 4% of the global ocean is fished. An order of magnitude difference! What is going on here?

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