Assessing the state of Greek marine fisheries resources


Correspondence: Athanassios C. Tsikliras, Present address: Department of Ichthyology and Aquatic Environment, University of Thessaly, 384 46, Volos, Greece (e-mail:,


Annual fish landings for the Greek seas were analysed for the period 1982–2007 and classified into exploitation categories based on a catch-based stock classification method. In 2007, about 65% of the Greek stock were characterised as overfished, 32% as fully exploited and only 3% were characterised as developing; collapsed stocks were not recorded. The cumulative percentage of fully exploited and overfished stocks has been increasing over the past 20 years suggesting overexploitation of resources. The results were contrasted against total landings, the fishing-in-balance index (FiB) and fishing effort, and some irregularities on the dataset were explained based on current legislation and management measures. A positive correlation between FiB and total fishing effort confirmed the expansion of the Greek fisheries up to 1994, but contraction thereafter. The results suggest that the apparently stable overall catches and decreasing effort may be deceiving, as they hide an underlying pattern of overexploitation in some of the stocks. It was concluded that the Greek fisheries are no longer sustainable and radical management measures are needed.