Comparison of AIS-derived measures of fishing effort to catch reconstruction data
This protocol is extracted from research article:
Wealthy countries dominate industrial fishing
Sci Adv, Aug 1, 2018; DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau2161

We compared estimations of AIS-derived industrial fishing effort for 2016 generated using the methods described above against reconstructed catch estimates for global marine fisheries generated by the Sea Around Us from 2014 (the most recent year available) (1) for all EEZs of countries categorized as high income or low income by the World Bank (upper and lower middle income classifications were not included). More recent data were available and were used for the high seas reconstructed catch estimates, found and described in Sala et al. (25). For the catch reconstruction estimates, catch is defined as metric tons fished per fishing entity using only industrial fishing catch (this includes both estimated landings and discards). Fishing effort for the AIS data is defined as total fishing hours for each entity. The top five fishing entities for each country’s EEZ according to the catch reconstructions and AIS fishing effort data were identified. These top five fishing entities of both lists were compared to assess the rank order consistency of the top fishing entities on the high seas and in each EEZ.

As with AIS data and associated analyses, data on catch reconstructions come with their own set of advantages and challenges (44, 45). While effort and catch are very different measures, they are fundamentally related and often positively correlated (46). Consequently, any alignment observed in these comparisons between patterns of AIS-measured effort data and catch reconstruction data provides a potentially valuable first opportunity to validate the efficacy of the AIS fishing effort measures we report and a means to begin building hypotheses that explain congruities and incongruities in pattern match.

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