Avast, me hearties! Seems the landlubbers ’round here have it in for me column. But I refuse to Arrr. I. P.

I’ve returned, peg-leg and all, with a quick post about the atlas resources on the fisheries pages of the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization. These maps illustrate tuna and billfish catches over time and by fishing method.

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As you can see below, the use of purse seine nets — a method that results in large amounts of bycatch (including dolphins, sharks, sea turtles, and juvenile fish) — has increased dramatically, even in the last few decades. That’s just one example of the depths of these charts.

As usual, I recommend the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch resources for more information about the various fishing methods used by commercial fisheries and for the ever-handy pocket guide for all your restaurant and fish-counter needs.

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chart of purse seine catches