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Proportion of fish stocks within biologically sustainable levels [BIP]

Proportion of fish stocks within biologically sustainable levels [BIP]

Indicator description

SDG Indicator 14.4.1 measures the Proportion of fish stocks within biologically sustainable levels. A fish stock of which abundance is at or greater than the level, that can produce the maximum sustainable yield (MSY) is classified as biologically sustainable. In contrast, when abundance falls below the MSY level, the stock is considered biologically unsustainable.

The indicator address global overfishing and fishery sustainability.

The FAO started monitoring the state of the world’s fishery stocks in 1974, classifying about 445 stocks every 2 or 3 years (FAO 2011). The species assessed account for about 75% of global catch, and thus provide a comprehensive overview of global sustainability status. For some species, diverse data exist whereas for others, little information other than catch is available. The FAO methodology balances the goals of using the best available data and assessing stock status worldwide. It uses a range of methods from formal model-based assessments, to surrogate measures of abundance supplemented by expert opinions.

Mapping with Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework

TARGET 5. Ensure Sustainable, Safe and Legal Harvesting and Trade of Wild Species

Ensure that the use, harvesting and trade of wild species is sustainable, safe and legal, preventing overexploitation, minimizing impacts on non-target species and ecosystems, and reducing the risk of pathogen spill-over, applying the ecosystem approach, while respecting and protecting customary sustainable use by indigenous peoples and local communities.


Headline indicator:

  • 5.1 Proportion of fish stocks within biologically sustainable levels

Component indicators:

  • Red List Index for used species
  • Living Planet Index for used species
  • Sustainable use of wild species

Complementary indicators:

  • Sustainable watershed and inland fisheries index
  • Red List Index (for internationally traded species and for migratory species)
  • Marine Stewardship Council Fish catch
  • Total catch of cetaceans under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling
  • By-catch of vulnerable and non-target species
  • Degree of implementation of international instruments aiming to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing
  • Proportion of legal and illegal wildlife trade consisting of species threatened with extinction
  • Illegal trade by CITES species classification
  • Number of countries incorporating trade in their national biodiversity policy
  • Proportion of terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecological regions which are conserved by protected areas or other effective area-based conservation measures
  • Implementation of measures designed to minimize the impacts of fisheries and hunting on migratory species and their habitats
  • Number of MSC Chain of Custody Certification holders by distribution country
  • Trends of trade and commercialization in biodiversity-based products that is sustainable and legal (in line with BioTrade Principles and/or CITES requirements)

Mapping with SPMS 2015-2023

CMS Target 5

Governments, key sectors and stakeholders at all levels have taken steps to achieve or have implemented plans for sustainable production and consumption, keeping the impacts of use of natural resources, including habitats, on migratory species well within safe ecological limits to promote the favourable conservation status of migratory species and maintain the quality, integrity, resilience, and ecological connectivity of their habitats and migration routes

CMS Target 6

Fisheries and hunting have no significant direct or indirect adverse impacts on migratory species, their habitats or their migration routes, and impacts of fisheries and hunting are within safe ecological limits.

Mapping with Sustainable Development Goals

SDG Target 14.4

By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics

SDG Target 14.7

By 2030, increase the economic benefits to small island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism

SDG Target 14.a

Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries

SDG Target 14.c

Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of “The future we want”

Mapping with 4th Ramsar Strategic Plan 2016-2024

Ramsar Target 13

Enhanced sustainability of key sectors such as water, energy, mining, agriculture, tourism, urban development, infrastructure, industry, forestry, aquaculture and fisheries, when they affect wetlands, contributing to biodiversity conservation and human livelihoods.




Possible further indicators that may be developed

  • {Indicators related to the relevant sectors especially using or linking to relevant Aichi Target indicators and other relevant international processes}.

Mapping with CITES Strategic Vision: 2008-2020

Objective 1.6

Parties cooperate in managing shared wildlife resources.