The Dynamics of the Global Fishing Fleet - Interactive - Global Fishing Watch
Our research paper, “Tracking the global footprint of fisheries,” was published today in Science. A key finding of the study is that fishing is remarkably non-seasonal at a global scale. What matters far more than any natural annual cycle, it turns out, are cultural and political factors: fishers in North America and Europe don’t work on Christmas and weekends, and Chinese fishers don’t work during the summer, when a moratorium limits fishing in Chinese waters, or during the Chinese New Year.
Below is an interactive chart where you can explore how fishing changes over the course of the year. Select any two countries and see how fishing changes. The default display compares Chinese and non-Chinese vessels (see figure 2 from our paper for another representation of this graph). On this chart you can clearly see the drop in fishing during the summer months in China, and you can see the weekly pulse of fishing among non-Chinese vessels (interestingly, it looks like Chinese fishers don’t take weekends off). Note you can toggle between viewing “fishing hours” per day and “number of vessels” that are fishing on a given day.
Below the two charts are a series of bubbles, arranged somewhat geographically, representing each flag state in our data. The inside circle shows how much fishing that flag state does on a given day, and the larger circle shows the maximum amount of fishing by that flag state. If you hit play, you can see the weekly pulse of fishing in European countries. You can also click on a bubble to see the time series for that country.