Despite a scarcity of pertinent information, it has been possible to reconstruct time series of marine fisheries catches for Equatorial Guinea from 1950 to 2010 using per capita fish consumption and population numbers for small-scale fisheries, catch rates and number of vessels for industrial fisheries and discard rates to estimate the discarded bycatch. Small-scale fisheries, industrial large-scale fisheries, domestic and legal and illegal foreign fisheries and their discards are all included. Total catches were estimated at 2.7 million tonnes over the time period considered, of which 653 000 t were caught domestically compared to 187 000 t reported by FAO. This shows that fisheries have more importance for Equatorial Guinea's food security than the official data suggest. In contrast to what is suggested by official figures, fisheries were shown to be strongly impacted by civil and political unrest; notably, they declined overall because of civil and political conflicts, socio-demographic dynamics, and a growing role of the newly discovered oil resources, which directly and indirectly threaten the food security of the people of Equatorial Guinea.