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Fisheries on the high seas are managed under Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs). At present about 40 RFMOs exist, with varying tasks. From the perspective of the project, focus was put on RFMOs managing economically important fisheries, in particular tuna. The study presents a general overview of the structure and trends in high seas fisheries in the areas under the different RFMOs and estimations of the economic scale of these fisheries in terms of volume and value of catch, income (gross value added) and employment.

Major conceptual and methodological problems were encountered. In most cases it is not possible to determine whether catches have been realized within or outside national EEZs. Catches and fleets are declared according to their country of registration (vessel flag). This does not necessarily mean that the owner of the vessel is also located in that country. Estimates of employment were made, based on indications of the average size of the crew per type of vessel, but there is only a weak link between the flag of the vessel and the nationality of the crew. (download presentation)

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