The exploitation rate is a statistical measure used to assess the proportion of fish that have been removed from fishing activities during a given period of time. It's a useful measure to use in comparative analysis, such as determining which areas and types of fish are caught the most. It also provides insight into whether fishing activity has increased or decreased. The exploitation rate can easily be calculated using estimates of the initial fish population and the number of fish that have been caught.
Identify the number of the total fish population at the beginning of the period. For example, a population of 1,500,000 fish exists at the beginning of the year on January 1, 2010.
Determine the number of fish caught throughout the year. For example, 800,000 fish have been caught by the end of the year on December 31, 2010.
Divide the number of fish caught by the initial population estimate to obtain the exploitation rate. In our example, .53 would be the exploitation rate: 800,000/150,000.