Understanding the Challenges of Overfishing

Understanding the Challenges of Overfishing

Fishing is a profitable endeavor and, for many communities, an ancient cultural and survival practice. But overfishing—when species are taken from the sea at rates that are too high for the fish to replace what is lost through natural reproductive cycles — has serious consequences, not only for the health of ocean ecosystems but also for the social and economic well-being of coastal communities. 

Technologies such as sonar and diesel engines, fishing subsidies offered by national governments, and international efforts to increase fish catch, have led to significant growth in fishing capacity. And as a result, many of the world’s fisheries today are overfished. Commercial fleets around the world face the depletion of fish populations and often must travel farther in the ocean or into deeper waters. Science is critical to developing effective strategies for reducing overfishing throughout the world, which can inform future fisheries policy.

Additional Resources

The front facade of the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, DC.
ian-hutchinson-U8WfiRpsQ7Y-unsplash.jpg_master

Agenda for America

A collection of resources to help federal, state, and local decision-makers set an achievable agenda for all Americans

Quick View

Data-driven policymaking is not just a tool for finding new solutions for emerging challenges, it makes government more effective and better able to serve the public interest. In the coming months, President Joe Biden and the 117th Congress will tackle a number of environmental, health, public safety, and fiscal and economic issues—nearly all of them complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. To help solve specific, systemic problems in a nonpartisan fashion, Pew has compiled a series of briefings and recommendations based on our research, technical assistance, and advocacy work across America.

Lightbulbs
Lightbulbs

States of Innovation

Data-driven state policy innovations across America

Quick View

Data-driven policymaking is not just a tool for finding new solutions for difficult challenges. When states serve their traditional role as laboratories of innovation, they increase the American people’s confidence that the government they choose—no matter the size—can be effective, responsive, and in the public interest.

Fisheries Management: It's Better with Predators
Fisheries Management: It’s Better With Predators