Overfishing is one of the greatest threats facing the ocean, with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reporting in 2018 that a third of all fish stocks are overfished and another nearly 60 percent cannot sustain any increases in fishing.
More than 130 recognized fish stocks are managed cooperatively by more than one nation. Yet many countries and regional fisheries management organizations lack clear rules to sustainably manage stocks, a key factor behind the declines in populations of fish as well as species that are caught accidentally as bycatch, such as sharks, turtles, and seabirds.
Where rules are in place, they are often not well enforced, which has allowed illegal fishing to occur. This activity further threatens fish stocks and costs the global economy billions of dollars each year in lost revenue and jobs.
Pew is working to secure comprehensive and complementary rules and consequences for international fisheries management to support healthy, resilient marine ecosystems and fisheries over the long term.