Overfishing

Despite the ubiquitous nature of fish, many populations are declining due to industrial fishing practices of the 20th and 21st centuries.

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As the popularity of seafood rises globally, companies are developing innovative and more efficient methods of harvesting fish to meet demand. While fish farming presents environmental concerns, experts are researching ways to make this...
Tom Peschak, a photojournalist with the Save Our Seas Foundation, describes the...
Slideshow MORE STORIES Slideshow MORE AUDIO / VIDEO
Worldwide, fisheries touch our lives in countless ways. If well maintained,...
What is it like to be eyeball to eyeball with a fish the size of a Volkswagen?...

LATEST CATCH

The Oculina deep-sea coral reef at top has not been disturbed by humans—but trawling has devastated the one at bottom. When fishermen trawl, they drag a net along the seafloor, destroying everything in its path. Only about 10...
In recent years, blooms of jellyfish, such as these moon jellies ( Aurita...
One of the biggest threats to sea turtles, such as the loggerhead turtle (...

DIVE DEEPER

by Caty Fairclough Sharks have been feared hunters ever since people first observed them swimming in the vast ocean. Yet...
Dr. Mahmood Shivji explains how shark DNA is used as evidence to prosecute shark fin poachers . What is shark finning? Find out here .
Most people have never heard of the Hawaiian petrel , an endangered, crow-sized seabird that spends the majority of its life searching for food over the North Pacific Ocean. Nevertheless, this bird...
Extinction is a real possibility for three species of tunas. That’s one of the messages from a new study released today online in the journal Science . Researchers assessed the range and populations...
Orange roughy ( Hoplostethus atlanticus ) is a deep ocean fish that grows and matures at a sluggish rate compared to most shallow water fish. They don't reproduce until they are at least 20 years old...
Solving environmental problems often starts with small groups of people working to make things better. But to sustain and scale up environmental successes often requires government support. The Ocean...
Bycatch, the name given to fish and other ocean animals that are caught unintentionally, is a huge problem. Scientists and fishermen are joining forces to design new nets that catch only the targeted...
Buyers examine tuna lining the floor of Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, Japan. Ounce per ounce, tuna is one of the most valuable varieties of seafood. In 2012, a single 593lb bluefin tuna sold for $736...
Bycatch, or accidentally caught species, can make up a very high percentage of the haul in shrimp trawl nets. However, some of these “trash” species are now being used, rather than discarded, and new...
Imagine that you're a shark swimming beneath the surface, minding your own business, when—smack!—you swim right into a net. Entangled, you are unable to keep swimming forward to draw water over your...
Sit down with two veteran marine scientists, Dr. Nancy Knowlton and Dr. Jeremy Jackson, who fell in love with each other and the reefs of the Caribbean 40 years ago. Those reefs are now gone due to...
Guitarfish, rays, and other bycatch are tossed from a shrimp boat in La Paz, Mexico in 2006. Many species caught as bycatch are never monitored, and, insofar as they have important roles in the...
This photo of Kingman’s Reef in the Line Islands shows what a healthy coral reef should look like. The water is crystal clear. A variety of richly colored corals carpet the seabed. And a native...
In the early 1990s, the annual commercial harvest of Atlantic bluefin tuna doubled, reaching a peak of 25 kilograms (55 million pounds). More about sustainable seafood can be found in our Sustainable...
Forensics is a key tool for enforcing the laws and treaties that protect marine animals. Investigators in a recent case used DNA analysis to track down and convict sea turtle poachers. All seven...
Millions of sharks are caught each year for their dorsal fins, which are prized for shark fin soup. Top predators like sharks are important to maintaining biodiversity, and their removal can have...
A public service announcement uses a dramatic example to emphasize that ocean fish aren’t as big as they used to be. Find out more about the decline in the ocean's top -- and often large -- predators...
These statistics come from a United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization 2007 review of the status of global fish stocks. Learn more in our Sustainable Seafood section .
When people go out fishing, they often have something specific in mind, but it's very difficult to catch only what you're looking for. Pulling a net through the water or across the sea floor catches...
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