Global Fishing Fleets
Halt extractive fishing fleets in our oceans to restore marine ecosystems, cut carbon emissions, boost local harvests, and help end a modern-day form of slavery.
Seas are a critical source of protein for billions of people. Small-scale fishing provides work or subsistence harvests to over 100 million people. Over the past three decades, however, the number of over-harvested fish stocks have more than tripled due to industrial-scale fishing, risking the permanent loss of iconic species such as Atlantic cod, bluefin tuna, and a wide range of sharks. The unchecked expansion of the global fishing fleet, often with government support, is largely responsible for this state of affairs, including destructive harvesting practices like bottom-trawling and shark finning. Carbon emissions from industrial fishing fleets worldwide have more than quadrupled since 1950. The damage fleets do to fish populations disrupts their critical role as biological pumps of blue carbon into the deep ocean. Forced labor and debt bondage on industrial fishing vessels are so extensive that some scientists estimate that nearly a third of the fleet is engaged in slavery at sea.