Home » Fisheries » Glossary

Fisheries Latest data


Glossary over Fisheries

Alaska Pollock

A saltwater fish of the cod family that thrives in seas, oceans, and gulfs of the north Pacific.

Alaska pollock has an average length of 61 cm but can grow up to 90cm. It generally weighs between 600 and 800 grams and lives up to 15 years. It is usually found in water from 30m to 400m deep, mostly near the bottom.

Allaska Pollock is an important food fish for humans. It is sold frozen, as fillets, fish sticks, surimi, and roe. (Source: GreenFacts)


Alien species

An alien species is a species introduced outside its normal distribution.

Invasive alien species are alien species whose establishment and spread modify ecosystems, habitats, or species. (Source: MA  Glossary )



Breeding and rearing of fish, shellfish, or plants in ponds, enclosures, or other forms of confinement in fresh or marine waters for the direct harvest of the product. (Source: MA   Glossary )

Background level(s)

Levels of chemical or physical agents that are normally found in the environment.

Two types of background levels may exist for chemical substances or physical agents: (a) Naturally occurring levels: ambient concentrations of substances or agents present in the environment, without human influence; (b) Anthropogenic levels: Concentrations of substances or agents present in the environment due to human-made, non-site sources (e.g., automobiles, industries). (Source: US EPA Glossary of IRIS Terms  )


Bioaccumulation is used to describe the increase in concentration of a substance in an organism over time.

Bioaccumulative substances tend to be fat soluble and not to be broken down by the organism. (Source: GreenFacts )



Biodiversity is a contraction of biological diversity. Biodiversity reflects the number, variety and variability of living organisms.

It includes diversity within species (genetic diversity), between species (species diversity), and between ecosystems (ecosystem diversity). (Source: GreenFacts)


Blue whiting

A fish species of the cod family that is widespread and common in the northeast Atlantic.

Blue whiting are most abundant in the deep waters off the continental shelf where they live at depths of 200-600 metres. Juveniles in particular also occur on shelf seas in depths greater than 200 m.

Blue whiting is rather small with most of the adults measuring 24-32 cm in length, although in unexploited local populations individuals larger than 40 cm are not uncommon. (Source: GreenFacts, based on Blue Whiting )


Brackish water

Mixed fresh and salt water.



Animals caught by accident in fishing gear; species that the fishers do not intend to catch. These can include, for example, marine mammals, sea turtles, sea birds and sharks. (Source: Seachoice Glossary  )


Capture fishery

Capture fishery refers to all kinds of harvesting of naturally occurring living resources in both marine and freshwater environments. (Source: GreenFacts )



Cephalopods (meaning "head foot") are mollusks with tentacles and a large head.

These soft-bodied invertebrates include animals like squid, octopuses and cuttlefish.

They are fast-moving carnivores that catch prey with their tentacles and poison it with a bite from beak-like jaws.

They move by squirting water through a siphon, a type of jet propulsion.

Many also squirt ink to help escape predators. (Source: Shark Glossary  )


Chemical element

A substance which cannot be separated into its constituent parts and still retains its chemical identity. For example, sodium (Na) is an element. (Source: US EPA Drinking Water Glossary  )



Chimaera is the common name of a group of fish species that are all closely related to sharks and rays. They are also called ghost sharks.

Chimaeras live on temperate ocean floors and can grow to be up to 2 meters long.

They have a skeleton made up of cartilage, a smooth scaleless skin, a poisonous spine located in front of their dorsal fin, and a whip-like tail. (Source: GreenFacts)



A large fish that often lives close to the seafloor.

Cod have firm white flesh; for centuries, cod have been important to people of many nations as a food fish.

The largest kind of cod fish is the Atlantic cod, an important food fish of northern Atlantic waters.

The Atlantic cod has a distinctive elongated hairlike structure called a "barbell" that hangs from its chin; it also has three dorsal fins, and two anal fins. The Atlantic cod may reach 2 meters in length, and its average weight is about 30 kilograms. (Source: GreenFacts)



When referring to humans, a community is defined as:

A collection of human beings who have something in common.

A local community is a fairly small group of people who share a common place of residence and a set of institutions based on this fact, but the word ‘community’ is also used to refer to larger collections of people who have something else in common (e.g., national community, donor community).

When referring to other living organisms, a community is defined as:

An assemblage of species occurring in the same space or time, often linked by biotic interactions such as competition or predation. (Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment  Glossary )


A material made up of two or more elements combined in a fixed ratio. (Source: CoRIS glossary  )



The amount of a chemical or substance present in a particular quantity of soil, water, air, food, blood, hair, urine, breath, or any other media. (Source: GreenFacts)



A substance that is either present in an environment where it does not belong or is present at levels that might cause harmful effects to humans or the environment. (Source: GreenFacts)


Any of a large group of mostly aquatic animals, including crabs, lobsters, and shrimps, having hard shells, jointed bodies, and antennae. (Source: GreenFacts )



In food preparation, curing refers to various preservation processes and flavoring processes, especially of meat or fish, by the addition of a combination of salt, sugar and either nitrate or nitrite. Many curing processes also involve smoking. (Source: GreenFacts)

Decked vessel

Decked vessels are those that have a fixed structural deck covering the entire hull. (Source: GreenFacts, based on EarthTrends
Coastal and Marine Ecosystems - Technical Notes )

Deep Sea Conservation Coalition

"A growing number of organisations are working together to protect seamounts, cold-water corals and vulnerable deep-sea ecosystems. The Deep Sea Conservation Coalition is calling on the United Nations General Assembly to secure a moratorium on high seas bottom trawling and protect these fragile and unique pockets of life in the deep seas before they are destroyed forever." (Source: DSCC website )


"Dioxins" refers to a group of chlorinated organic chemicals with similar chemical structures.

In all GreenFacts publications the term "dioxins" is used to cover both polychlorinated dibenzo-dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzo-furans (PCDFs). Other sources may refer to these compounds as "dioxins and furans".

Some dioxins have harmful properties, depending on the number and position of chlorine atoms. One of the most toxic dioxin is known as TCDD (2,3,7,8 tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin). Some PCBs which have similar properties are considered "dioxin-like". (Source: GreenFacts)


Dumping (in trade)

The practice of selling goods abroad below the price charged for the same goods in the domestic market or at a price below the cost of production, usually with the aim of driving competitors out of the market.

Dumping is considered to be an unfair trade practice and, as such, is prohibited under many national trade laws. (Source: GreenFacts)


A seal of approval (or certification) of a product, process or service complying with a particular set of agreed environmental criteria usually awarded by an impartial third party (certification company).

In fisheries, the label informs on the quality of the product itself as well as on the production and management processes.



The complex system of plant, animal, fungal, and microorganism communities and their associated non-living environment interacting as an ecological unit.

Ecosystems have no fixed boundaries; instead their parameters are set to the scientific, management, or policy question being examined. Depending upon the purpose of analysis, a single lake, a watershed, or an entire region could be considered an ecosystem. (Source: US EPA Glossary of Climate Change Terms   )

El Niño

El Niño, in its original sense, is a warm water current which periodically flows along the coast of Ecuador and Peru, disrupting the local fishery.

This oceanic event is associated with a fluctuation of the intertropical surface pressure pattern and circulation in the Indian and Pacific oceans, called the Southern Oscillation. This coupled atmosphere-ocean phenomenon is collectively known as El Niño-Southern Oscillation, or ENSO.

During an El Niño event, the prevailing trade winds weaken and the equatorial countercurrent strengthens, causing warm surface waters in the Indonesian area to flow eastward to overlie the cold waters of the Peru current.

This event has great impact on the wind, sea surface temperature and precipitation patterns in the tropical Pacific. It has climatic effects throughout the Pacific region and in many other parts of the world.

The opposite of an El Niño event is called La Niña. (Source: IPCC Glossary  )


Elemental Arsenic

The element with the symbol "As" and the atomic number 33. Its molecular weight is 74.92160 g. It can be classified as semi metallic and its colour is observed to be metallic grey. (Source: GreenFacts)


Elemental mercury

Hg. Mercury in its elemental (pure) form, that is, as a metal; hence the synonym metallic mercury. A shiny, silver-gray metal that is a liquid at room temperature. (Source: GreenFacts)



Associated with the surface layer of a water body (e.g. sea or lake). (Source: FAO Fisheries Glossary  )


Fair trade

The concept of fair trade applies in general to trade operations which strengthen the economic position of small-scale producers and landowners in order to ensure that they are not marginalised in the world economy.

It mainly relates to developing countries and, under the present communication, covers two main aspects: · ensuring that producers, including employees, receive a share of the total profit commensurate with their input; · improving social conditions, particularly those of employees in the absence of developed structures for social services and worker representation (trade union representation for instance), etc.; This concept has long-term development in mind. Participation in initiatives on fair trade is voluntary for both sellers and consumers.

It is important to note that the concept of 'fair trade' is not the same as that of 'ethical trade'. 'Ethical trade' usually relates to the operating methods of companies present in the country (codes of conduct, for example). (Source: European commission, communication from the Commission to the Council of 29 November 1999 on 'fair trade' [COM(1999) 619]   )

FAO Fisheries

"The mission of the Fisheries Department of FAO is to facilitate and secure the long-term sustainable development and utilization of the world’s fisheries and aquaculture."

"FAO's Major Programme on Fisheries aims to promote sustainable development of responsible fisheries and contribute to food security. To implement this Major Programme, the Fisheries Department focuses its activities, through programmes in Fishery Resources, Fishery Policy, Fishery Industries and Fishery Information on three medium-term strategic objectives:

  • Promotion of Responsible Fisheries Sector Management at the Global, Regional and National Levels [...]
  • Promotion of Increased Contribution of Responsible Fisheries and Aquaculture to World Food Supplies and Food Security[...]
  • Global Monitoring and Strategic Analysis of Fisheries [...] "
Fish meal

A high-protein animal feed supplement made by cooking, pressing, drying, and grinding fish or shellfish. (Source: NOAA  Glossary )


Fish oil

An oil extracted from body (body oil) or liver (liver oil) of fish and marine mammals; mostly a byproduct of fish meal production. (Source: NOAA  Glossary )

Fish stock

The population or [total mass] of a fishery resource. Such stocks are usually identified by their location. They can be, but are not always, genetically discrete from other stocks. (Source: MA  Glossary )



"[...] FishBase, a global information system with all you ever wanted to know about fishes.

FishBase is a relational database with information to cater to different professionals such as research scientists, fisheries managers, zoologists and many more. FishBase on the web contains practically all fish species known to science. [...]

FishBase was developed at the WorldFish Center in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and many other partners, and with support from the European Commission (EC)." (Source: FishBase website )


A particular kind of fishing activity, e.g., a trawl fishery or a particular species targeted, e.g., a cod fishery or salmon fishery. (Source: MA  Glossary )

Fishery production

In the context of the 'State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture' reports of the FAO, fishery production refers to the output of fish by humans both from capture fisheries and aquaculture.

In this particular context, it does not refer to the biological production of fish. (Source: GreenFacts)

Flag of convenience

The flag of a country with easy or lax maritime regulations and low fees and taxes, flown by ships that register their vessels in such countries, even though their ownership and main cruising areas are elsewhere. (Source: Home-Based Travel Agent Resource Center Dictionary  )


Flagging out

Each vessel normally flies the flag of the owner's country. That means it is registered in the national register of that particular country.

Flagging in is the process of adding a vessel to the national registry and "flagging out" is the process of removing a vessel from a national registry. Generally flagging out refers to the practice of switching the vessel's registration to another country to fly operate it under a "flag of convenience". However, some vessels that have been deleted from national registries end up operating under no flag at all. (Source: GreenFacts)


Food & Agriculture Organization

"The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy. FAO is also a source of knowledge and information. We help developing countries and countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices and ensure good nutrition for all. Since our founding in 1945, we have focused special attention on developing rural areas, home to 70 percent of the world's poor and hungry people. FAO's activities comprise four main areas:

  • Putting information within reach
  • Sharing policy expertise.
  • Providing a meeting place for nations.
  • Bringing knowledge to the field. "

Water that is not salty, for instance water found in lakes, streams, and rivers, but not the ocean. Also used to refer to things living in or related to freshwater (e.g., "freshwater fish"). (Source: GreenFacts)



Group of fish that includes cod, hake, pollock, and haddock. Many major food fish are in this group.

Fishes of this group live mainly in temperate and arctic waters. (Source: GreenFacts)



The increasing integration of economies and societies around the world, particularly through trade and financial flows, and the transfer of culture and technology. (Source: MA  Glossary )

Gross tonnage

The entire internal cubic capacity of the ship expressed in tons of 100 cubic feet to the ton, except certain spaces which are exempted, such as:

  1. peak and other tanks for water ballast;
  2. spaces above the uppermost continuous deck, such as: open forecastle, bridge and poop, certain light and air spaces, domes of skylights, condenser, anchor gear, steering gear, wheel house, galley and cabins for passengers.

Fish that live most of their life on or near the sea bottom.

Examples of groundfish include flatfish, cods, haddocks, pollocks, chimaeras, and eels. (Source: GreenFacts)



The location and environmental conditions in which a particular organism normally lives. (Source: MA  Glossary )

Habitat change

Change in the local environmental conditions in which a particular organism lives.

Habitat change can occur naturally through droughts, disease, fire, hurricanes, mudslides, volcanoes, earthquakes, slight increases or decreases in seasonal temperature or precipitation, etc.

However, it is generally induced by human activities such as land use change and physical modification of rivers or water withdrawal from rivers. (Source: GreenFacts)



The haddock is a sea fish belonging to the cod family, but it is smaller than the Atlantic cod.

This groundfish, also known as offshore hake, lives at depths of between 40 and 300 metres and is found mostly in the northern hemisphere.

Haddock is highly valued as a food fish. (Source: GreenFacts)



Any of various saltwater fish of related to the cod family, found in northern European, African, and American waters.

They have silvery elongated bodies and grow up to 1 m in length. They have two dorsal fins and one long anal fin.

The silver hake or whiting is an important food fish.

The hake is part of the Gadiformes group. (Source: GreenFacts, based on Tiscali   )



Small, primitive, bony fish related to the sardine and the anchovy.

Herrings are relatively small but very abundant; they swim in huge schools, feeding on plankton and small animals and plants.

Most herring family species are ocean-dwelling, living in salt water as adults, but returning to freshwater to spawn, and spending the early part of their lives in freshwater. Other herring family members are strictly freshwater fish.

The adult common herring, found in temperate and cold waters of the North Atlantic, is about 30 cm long with silvery sides and blue back. (Source: GreenFacts)



Chemical messengers that help our body do different tasks. Hormones are produced by the endocrine glands and then sent all over the body to stimulate certain activities. For example, insulin is a well-known hormone that helps our body digest food. Hormones regulate our growth, digestion, reproduction and sexual function. (Source: EMCOM Endocrine disruptors glossary  )


The act of swallowing something through eating, drinking, or mouthing objects. A hazardous substance can enter the body this way. (Source: ATSDR Glossary of Terms  )

Inland waters

Inland waters are permanent water bodies inland from the coastal zone and areas whose properties and use are dominated by the permanent, seasonal, or intermittent occurrence of flooded conditions.

Inland waters include rivers, lakes, floodplains, reservoirs, wetlands, and inland saline systems. (Source: MA Synthesis Report )


Not organic. Inorganic compounds are generally structured by ionic bonds and do not contain carbon chemically bound to hydrogen (hydrocarbons) or any of their derivatives. Examples of inorganic compounds include sodium chloride (NaCl) and calcium carbonate (CaCO3) and pure elements (e.g. elemental mercury, elemental lead). (Source: GreenFacts)


International Collective in Support of Fishworkers

"The International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF) is an international non-government organization that works towards the establishment of equitable, gender-just,self-reliant and sustainable fisheries, particularly in the small-scale, artisanal sector. [...]

The main aims of ICSF are to:

  • monitor issues that relate to the life, livelihood and living conditions of fishworkers around the world;
  • disseminate information on these issues, particularly amongst fisherfolk;
  • prepare guidelines for policymakers that stress fisheries development and management of a just,participatory and sustainable nature; and
  • help create the space and momentum for the development of alternatives in the small-scale fisheries sector."
International Labour Organization

The International Labour Organization (ILO) was established in 1919 and became the first specialized agency of the UN in 1946.

The International Labour Organization is the UN specialized agency which seeks the promotion of social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights. The ILO formulates international labour standards in the form of Conventions and Recommendations setting minimum standards of basic labour rights.

It has collaborated to and published many highly recognized scientific publication. (Source: ILO website )

Largehead hairtail

The largehead hairtail is a long slender fish present throughout tropical and temperate salt and brackish waters of the world. This fish generally lives over muddy bottoms of shallow coastal waters and has a long, eellike body and a short dorsal fin that extends the length of the back.

Largehead hairtails can grow up to be up to 1.2 m long. They live in schools and feed mainly on prawns and small fish.

The largehead hairtail is often used as a food fish.

For more information on the largehead hairtail, click here:  (Source: GreenFacts)


Low Income Food Deficit Countries

Countries that are both poor and net importers of food. (Source: GreenFacts)



A sleek silvery-blue fish with stripes on its back, which swims in large schools.

Mackerel are related to the tunas, but have a more cylindrical shape.

Different mackerel species occur in all tropical and temperate seas.

Exampes include the chub mackerel which is a small mackerel found nearly everywhere in the world. (Source: GreenFacts)



Synonym for marine aquaculture.

Mariculture refers to the cultivation of marine animals and plants in tanks, pens, ponds, cages or net enclosed areas in the open sea.

Mariculture is primarily used to produce food, but also some other products such as cultured pearls. (Source: GreenFacts)


Marine Conservation Society

"The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is the UK's national charity dedicated to the protection of the marine environment and its wildlife.

Founded following Underwater Conservation Year in 1977, MCS has worked successfully to highlight issues of concern and threats to marine wildlife and the wider marine environment, bringing them to the attention of the public, media, politicians and Government agencies alike.

MCS involves thousands of volunteers in surveys and other projects, has a network of local supporters' groups, and works with other bodies of like-mind to achieve common goals.

MCS informs Government, the European Union and industry with sound, accurate advice. MCS has a regular presence in Whitehall and Westminster and enjoys a very high media profile in TV, radio and newspapers, consistently bringing marine conservation to the attention of the UK public." (Source: MCS website )

Marine Stewardship Council

"The MSC is an independent, global, non-profit organisation whose role is to recognise, via a certification programme, well-managed fisheries and to harness consumer preference for seafood products bearing the MSC label of approval." (Source: MSC website )

Mass (weight) Units

The Metric System of Measurements uses the mass units: gram (g), kilogram (kg) and tonne (t).

1000 g = 1 kg
1000 kg = 1 tonne

Adding prefixes of the International System of Units (SI) allows to express weight as multiples or fractions of 1 gram:

1 gigatonne (Gt) =1 000 000 000 000 000 g
1 megatonne (Mt) =1 000 000 000 000 g
1 tonne (t) =1 000 000 g
1 kilogram (kg) =1 000 g
1 gram (g) =1 g
1 milligram (mg) =0.001 g
1 microgram (µg) =0.000 001 g
1 nanogram (ng) =0.000 000 001 g
1 picogram (pg) =0.000 000 000 001g

Imperial and US weight units can also be expressed as metric units:

Metric units
1 US ton (ton) =0.907 tonne
1 UK ton (ton) =1.016 tonne
1 lb (pound) =453.59 g
1 oz (ounce) =28.35g

Further information on the International System of Units (SI) is provided by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) 


Mollusks are a large group of soft-bodied invertebrates that are widespread in salt water, freshwater, and terrestrial habitats. Examples of mollusks include snails, clams, squids, octopus, and cuttlefish.

Most mollusks have a muscular foot and a hard, calcareous outer shell protecting their soft body, but some, as in the squid and octopus, lack this type of shell. (Source: GreenFacts)



Nitrosamines are carcinogenic chemical compounds produced when nitrite, a preservative typically added to certain foods (especially beer, fish, fish byproducts, and certain types of meat and cheese products), combines with amino acids in the stomach.

Nitrosamines can also be found in tobacco smoke and latex products. (Source: GreenFacts)

NOAA Fisheries Service

"NOAA [National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration] Fisheries Service is dedicated to the stewardship of living marine resources through science-based conservation and management, and the promotion of healthy ecosystems.

As a steward, NOAA Fisheries Service conserves, protects, and manages living marine resources in a way that ensures their continuation as functioning components of marine ecosystems, affords economic opportunities, and enhances the quality of life for the American public." (Source: NOAA website )


The approximately 20 chemical elements known to be essential for the growth of living organisms, including nitrogen, sulfur, phosphorus, and carbon. (Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Glossary   )



"OceanLaw is an independent initiative focusing on international law of the sea and international fisheries law research, resource development and consultancy. It publishes two major resources on international fisheries law: the Internet Guide to International Fisheries Law and International Fisheries Law and Policy Review." (Source: OceanLaw )


"The oneFish Community Directory is an Internet portal providing access to information on fisheries and aquatic research and development for those keen to extend the boundaries of fisheries and aquatic research, and to facilitate a more efficient and effective application of research-based knowledge to the many constraints of sustainable development." (Source: oneFish website )


The term organic has different meanings (depending on the context):

In chemistry, "organic" refers to a chemical compound based on a hydrocarbon, i.e. a chain or a ring of carbon atoms onto which hydrogen atoms are bonded.

In agriculture, "organic" refers to a production system that excludes or limits the use of chemicals



Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a family of 209 congeners of structurally similar organic chemicals, ranging from oily liquids to waxy solids. There are 12 PCBs that are dioxin-like and can similarly be toxic and non-toxic. One dioxin-like PCB is 3,4,4',5-Tetrachlorobiphenyl.

PCBs are synthetic and produced either as a singular congener, as a homogeneous group or as a mixture. They are non-flammable, stable, have a high boiling point and exhibit electrical insulating properties. As such, PCBs have been used as coolants and lubricants in transformers and other electrical equipment, as hydraulic fluids, and as plasticizers, pigments, dyes and carbonless copy paper ink. They are also generated and released into the environment as waste byproducts of chemical manufacturing and incineration. (Source: GreenFacts)


Persistent organic pollutants

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are chemical substances that persist in the environment, bioaccumulate through the food web, and pose a risk of causing adverse effects to human health and the environment. This group of priority pollutants consists of pesticides (such as DDT), industrial chemicals (such as polychlorinated biphenyls, PCBs) and unintentional by-products of industrial processes (such as dioxins and furans).

Persistent Organic Pollutants are transported across international boundaries far from their sources, even to regions where they have never been used or produced. (Source: European Commission Environment DG POPs  )

Peruvian anchoveta

The Peruvian anchoveta is a fish of the anchovy family.

Anchoveta occur in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, mainly within 80 km of the coasts of Peru, and Chile.

They live in huge schools at a depth that ranges from 3 to 80 m.

The population was greatly reduced during the 1972 El Niño event, when warm water replaced the cold Humboldt Current which the fish prefer.

The peruvian anchoveta is very popular for making fish meal and it produces one of the highest quality fish meals in the world.

For more on the anchoveta, click here:  (Source: GreenFacts)



Phosphates are inorganic salts which contain phosphorous. Phosphate is the most common form of phosphorous in fertilizers and in waterways (see also phosphorous cycle).

Polyphosphates, which are phosphate polymers, are used as:

  • household and industrial laundry and dishwashing detergents,
  • a multipurpose food additive (particularly in meat and fish products).



A group or number of people living within a specified area or sharing similar characteristics (such as occupation or age). (Source: ATSDR Glossary of Terms  )



The pronounced deprivation of well-being.

Income poverty refers to a particular formulation expressed solely in terms of per capita or household income. (Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment  Glossary )


A large molecule composed of one or more chains of amino acids in a specific order, formed according to genetic information.


Reduction (in fish processing)

Transformation of fish into fish meal and oil. (Source: FAO Fisheries Glossary  )

Regional fishery bodies

The framework for international interaction and collaboration on fisheries matters is characterized by the existence of a large number of regional fishery bodies - about 40 already exist and new ones are being established - with exclusive responsibilities.

Some have real management powers and make decisions on allowable catches, quota allocations by fishing nation, and technical management measures (on mesh size, fishing seasons, closed areas, etc.). Many have a purely advisory role and foster statistics collection, information exchange and scientific analysis. These only advise members on management and provide a forum, as well as training opportunities, in contributing to capacity-building. Many of the latter are established under the aegis of FAO. (Source: FAO Fisheries Other international organizations   )



A measure of the salt concentration of water. (Source: CoRIS Glossary  )


Japanese term for sliced fish (especially tuna) and shellfish (scallop, abalone, lobster, squid, octopus) served raw as a delicacy. (Source: FAO Fisheries Glossary  )


A substance is soluble if it dissolves in certain fluids. The fluid [gas or liquid] (present in excess) is called the solvent and the substance dissolved in it is called the solute which together form a solution. The process of dissolving is called solvation. A solution that can not hold any more solute is said to be saturated. (Source: GreenFacts )


A group of organisms that differ from all other groups of organisms and that are capable of breeding and producing fertile offspring. This is the smallest unit of classification for plants and animals. (Source: OceanLink Glossary of Common Terms and Definitions in Marine Biology  )



Soft-bodied saltwater mollusk with two long tentacles for catching food, eight or more shorter arms, and a streamlined body adapted for swimming quickly through open water.

Squids are cephalopods. They are related to octopuses and cuttlefishes. They may emit a cloud of inky material from their ink sac when in danger.

Squid is a popular seafood meal, especially in East Asia and in the Mediterranean area.

Examples of squid varieties include short-finned or Illex squid and long-finned or Loligo squid. (Source: GreenFacts )



Sturgeons are large primitive fishes of the Northern Hemisphere, used as a food fish and valued as a source of caviar.

Some species live in saltwater, some ascend rivers to spawn, and some are found in landlocked waters.

Sturgeons range from 2.5 to 3.5 m in length and can weigh up to 900 kg.

They are bottom-feeders. With their projecting wedgeshaped snout they stir up the soft bottom, and by means of their sensitive barbels detect shells, crustaceans and small fishes, on which they feed. Having no teeth, they are unable to seize larger prey. (Source: GreenFacts )



Sulphites are sulfur-based compounds that contain the SO32- anion. They are often used as food preservatives, especially in wines.



A characteristic or state whereby the needs of the present and local population can be met without compromising the ability of future generations or populations in other locations to meet their needs.



Able to poison or harm an organism. Toxic substances can cause adverse health effects. (Source: GreenFacts)


A pattern of change over time, over and above short-term fluctuations. (Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment  Glossary )


A group of large predatory fish species related to the mackerel living in the open ocean.

Many tuna species are important food fish for people. Tunas are the single most important resource exploited in the high seas.

Examples of tuna species include the large bluefin tuna, the yellowfin tuna, the albacore tuna, the bigeye tuna, and the skipjack tuna. (Source: GreenFacts)


United Nations Atlas of the Oceans

"The UN Atlas of the Oceans is an Internet portal providing information relevant to the sustainable development of the oceans. It is designed for policy-makers who need to become familiar with ocean issues and for scientists, students and resource managers who need access to databases and approaches to sustainability. The UN Atlas can also provide the ocean industry and stakeholders with pertinent information on ocean matters." (Source: United Nations Atlas of the Oceans website )

WorldFish Center

"The WorldFish Center is an international scientific research organization. Its mission is to reduce poverty and hunger by improving fisheries and aquaculture. Most of our work is carried out in developing countries." (Source: WFC website )

Other articles you might like...
Biological Diversity home
Key decisions adopted in 2018 by the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity in preparation for a 2050 Biodiversity Vision for the Global Biodiversity Outlook 5 report published in 2020.
Single-use plastics home
Reusable tableware consistently outperforms single-use tableware in all the studies and across most environmental impact categories
Water Resources Assessments home
Water is essential for life, but humanity faces complex challenges related to increasing demand.
A-Z List
    Themes covered
    Publications A-Z

    Get involved!

    This summary is free and ad-free, as is all of our content. You can help us remain free and independant as well as to develop new ways to communicate science by becoming a Patron!