World Fisheries from Sea to Table
Worldwide, fisheries touch our lives in countless ways. If well maintained, they can feed millions of people, generate jobs and income, help maintain long-standing community and cultural traditions, and provide a range of products from medicines to clothing. World Fisheries Day, observed annually on November 21st, is an opportunity to reflect on the importance of fisheries around the world and what we—as fishers or consumers—can do to ensure that they stay healthy and productive. Learn more in our Sustainable Seafood section.
Pike Place Fish Market
Seafood vendor at historic Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington (USA). The market draws both shoppers and gawkers who come to watch the gregarious crew of fishmongers.
Joey Brookhart/Marine Photobank
Fleet of Fishing Boats
Boats of an artisanal fishing fleet, packed together in a typical Moroccan port.
Mike Markovina/Marine Photobank
Tuna at Tsukiji Fish Market
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 2011, a single bluefin tuna sold for close to $400,000 in a Japanese market.
Wikimedia User “Fisherman”
Unloading the Day’s Catch
Senagalese fishermen unload their catch. Traditional fishing has been a critical part of Senegal’s economy, contributing to the nation’s food security and providing jobs in many communities.
Linda Schonknecht/Marine Photobank
Fresh Shellfish for Sale
A local woman sells live shellfish from her boat in Halong Bay, Vietnam.
Kathleen Reaugh/Marine Photobank
Finned Sharks in South Africa
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 ripple effects through an ecosystem.
Fiona Ayerst/Marine Photobank
An albatross drowned after being accidentally caught on a longline near Brazil. Marine birds are among the species that can become bycatch.
Projeto Tamar Brazil/Marine Photobank
Bycatch in Shrimp Net
A skate is among the many bycatch species caught in this shrimp trawl net.
Eliott Norse/Marine Conservation Biology Institute
King Crab Fishing in Alaska
Alaskan king crab fisheries are on the rebound after years of unsustainable exploitation. New regulations mean that immediately after a haul is brought on board, the crabs are sorted and all females and under-sized crabs are released.
Valerie Craig/Marine Photobank
Celebratory Harvest in Papua New Guinea
A fisherman in Papua New Guinea shows his catch for a ceremonial feast. Communities there are successfully managing their local reefs by observing temporary fishing closures that end in time to celebrate the traditional feast.
ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies/Marine Photobank
A Net Full of Bycatch
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 technologies can reduce the catch of non-target species.
Eliott Norse, Marine Conservation Biology Institute/Marine Photobank
Loggerhead Escapes from Fishing Net
A Turtle Excluder Device (TED) enables a loggerhead turtle to escape from a net.