The social, economic, and environmental importance of inland fish and fisheries


February 9, 2016 - Abigail J. Lynch, Steven J. Cooke, Andrew M. Deines, Shannon D. Bower, David B. Bunnell, Ian G. Cowx, Vivian M. Nguyen, Joel Nohner, Kaviphone Phouthavong, Betsy Riley, Mark W. Rogers, William W. Taylor, Whitney Woelmer, <>, and T. Douglas Beard

Journal or Book Title: Environmental Reviews

Keywords: food security; freshwater ecosystems; importance of fish; inland fisherie

Volume/Issue: 24

Page Number(s): 1-7

Year Published: 2016

Abstract: Though reported capture fisheries are dominated by marine production, inland fish and fisheries make substantial contributions to meeting the challenges faced by individuals, society, and the environment in a changing global landscape. Inland capture fisheries and aquaculture contribute over 40% to the world’s reported finfish production from less than 0.01% of the total volume of water on earth. These fisheries provide food for billions and livelihoods for millions of people worldwide. Herein, using supporting evidence from the literature, we review 10 reasons why inland fish and fisheries are important to the individual (food security, economic security, empowerment), to society (cultural services, recreational services, human health and well-being, knowledge transfer and capacity building), and to the environment (ecosystem function and biodiversity, as aquatic “canaries”, the “green food” movement). However, the current limitations to valuing the services provided by inland fish and fisheries make comparison with other water resource users extremely difficult. This list can serve to demonstrate the importance of inland fish and fisheries, a necessary first step to better incorporating them into agriculture, land-use, and water resource planning, where they are currently often underappreciated or ignored.

DOI: 10.1139/er-2015-0064

Type of Publication: Journal Article



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