Overfishing puts sea life on the brink


Recent studies reveal a bleak truth: Overfishing is depleting our oceans of sea life around the world.

Disappearing sea life

  • 40% of global fisheries are in deep trouble, jeopardizing food security for millions.
  • 1 out of 2 fish stocks in the U.S. are either overfished, at risk of being overfished, or there is little data to assess how they’re doing.
  • 100 million sharks are likely killed each year, according to some scientific estimates.

Turning the tide: Catch shares

Yet, hope exists: Management techniques supported by EDF show enormous promise for bringing our seas back from the brink.

Under an innovative fishing model known as catch shares, fishermen have an economic incentive to help the fishery recover. They get a share of the allowed catch, which grows as the fishery recovers.

Don’t let the last fish disappear

Catch shares could be dead in the water if some in Congress get their way. Send a loud, clear rallying cry for catch shares today, and help us bring fisheries back from the brink.


2011 NOAA Fisheries Status of Stocks 2011.

Pew Environmental Group. Sharks in Trouble: Hunters Become the Hunted. 2011.

Environmental Defense Fund. 2007. “Sustaining America’s Fish and Fisheries: An Evaluation of Incentive-Based Management.”

Food and Agriculture Organization. 2010. The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2010. [page 2 overview] 

Heal, G. and W. Schlenker. 2008. Sustainable fisheries. Nature 455: 1044-1045  

Jackson, J.B.C. 2008. Ecological extinction and evolution in the brave new ocean. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105: 11458-11465.

Myers, R.A. and B. Worm. 2003. Rapid worldwide depletion of predatory fish communities. Nature 423: 280-283.