The global offtake of wild animals is valued at US$400 billion annually and supports the livelihoods of 15% of the global population. Wetlands are amongst the most important ecosystems globally, but offtake may represent a substantial pressure. This study assessed the availability of information and evaluated the offtake of wild animals from wetlands by focussing on fish and waterbirds. A literature search identified 2726 studies on wetland offtake. Scoping of these resulted in 82 studies that contained quantitative information on fish or waterbird offtake. Fishing offtake statistics for inland waters are collated nationally by some governments, but other sources of information are few. Reporting of fish offtake for species or across scales was constrained by insufficient detail, even in relatively well-documented countries such as Bangladesh. Although government hunting statistics from Europe and North America were available, there was little waterbird data from less economically developed countries. The case of Canada indicated that the species richness and composition of waterbirds taken varied between indigenous subsistence and recreational hunting communities. Hidden (unquantified) offtake, of both fish and waterbirds, hinders obtaining precise data for offtake, which may threaten the conservation of species and the sustainability of wetland ecosystems.
Brotherton, S., Joyce, C., & Scharlemann, J. (2020). Global offtake of wild animals from wetlands: critical issues for fish and birds. Hydrobiologia, 847(7), 1631-1649. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-020-04188-z