Environmental Initiatives

Dramatic efficiencies in fishing methods and gear have led to a tragic consequence: wasteful exploitation of sea life vital to the ocean ecosystem and human food security.

From herring, a small forage fish upon which ocean predators and humans rely, to the majestic bluefin tuna, one of the most commercially valuable fish in the sea, fish populations around the globe are in deep jeopardy. Of 600 species monitored by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, only 23 percent are not overexploited.

Pew works with international institutions, governments and fishing communities to end overfishing, rebuild depleted fish populations and eliminate destructive commercial fishing gear.

Large-scale commercial fishing continues to have a major impact on marine ecosystems worldwide. Through scientific research, public education and the promotion of strong conservation policies, we work to secure the sustainability of both fish and fishing for generations to come.

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  • European Parliament Concludes Five Years of Common Fisheries Policy Reform

    On April 16, the European Parliament effectively concluded the EU Common Fisheries Policy reform with the adoption of the final piece of legislation, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, or EMFF.More

  • Pew Comments on Offshore Angler Permit Proposal

    On behalf of The Pew Charitable Trusts, Chad W. Hanson, Officer of the U.S. Oceans Southeast, submitted comments to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission regarding the proposed Gulf Offshore Recreational Fishing Permit (offshore permit). More

  • Study Offers New Ecosystem Approach to Parrotfish Management

    A March 2014 study in the journal Fish and Fisheries describes a new approach to ecosystem-based fisheries management of coral reefs in the Caribbean centered on one very charismatic reef dweller–the parrotfish.More

  • Pew Praises Ratification of Treaty to Fight Illegal Fishing Worldwide

    The United States Senate on April 3 took a strong stand in the global fight against illegal fishing by ratifying a treaty that will prevent illegally caught fish from entering the market through ports around the world. The treaty, called the Port State Measures Agreement, or PSMA, also would empower port officials to prohibit foreign vessels that are suspected of illegal activity from receiving port services and access. By cutting off market access for illegally caught fish, the treaty will erode the profit incentive that drives the activity.More

  • The News Guard: Pay Attention to Little Fish

    For those of us who live on the Oregon Coast or make a living from the sea, the Pacific Ocean seems immense. Everything about it is big. Huge waves crash against coastal headlands, vast distances challenge every search and rescue operation.More

  • EU Bans Fish Imports from 3 Countries

    Today the Environmental Justice Foundation, Oceana, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and WWF welcome a decision by the European Union Fisheries Council, comprising all 28 fisheries ministers, to ban the importation of fish from Belize, Cambodia, and Guinea for their failure to cooperate in fighting illegal, unreported, and unregulated, or IUU, fishing.More

  • Documentary on Illegal Fishing to Premiere at D.C. Environmental Film Fest

    For decades, the azure waters of the Indian Ocean have served as a virtual safe house for fishermen engaged in large-scale illegal operations. These suspected criminals have roamed the waters off East Africa, helping themselves to a valuable natural resource with little regard for fishing laws. Throughout the developing world, but especially in Africa, illegal fishing has wreaked widespread economic, environmental, and social harm, accounting for a global catch worth up to $23.5 billion annually. More

  • Pew Awards Author Paul Greenberg the 2014 Fellowship in Marine Conservation

    Paul Greenberg—an award-winning journalist and author of the New York Times bestseller, Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food—has been awarded a 2014 Pew fellowship in marine conservation to prepare a book focusing on the human demand for Omega 3 fatty acids found in seafood and its impact on the sustainability of the world’s oceans.More

  • Pew Awards Shark Scientist Demian Chapman the 2014 Fellowship in Marine Conservation

    Demian Chapman, Ph.D., a scientist with Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, has been awarded a 2014 Pew fellowship in marine conservation for a new research project to determine how recently enacted international regulations affect the trade in the fins of protected shark species. Sharks have been heavily fished to supply the international fin trade, depriving marine ecosystems of some of their most important top predators and endangering species dependent on them. More

  • Pew Awards Scientist Hoyt Peckham the 2014 Fellowship in Marine Conservation

    Hoyt Peckham, Ph.D., a pioneer of incentivizing artisanal fishing to advance marine stewardship based in La Paz, México, has been awarded a 2014 Pew fellowship in marine conservation to expand on his work on incentivizing sustainable fishing along the coast of Northwest Mexico to other communities in the region and around the world. Peckham is working with local fishers and their cooperatives to restore value in their fisheries, reinforcing their sustainability practices by increasing demand for their seafood. More

  • Pew Awards Malaysian Mammal Scientist the 2014 Fellowship in Marine Conservation

    Louisa Shobhini Ponnampalam, Ph.D., a scientist with the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and co-founder of grassroots NGO, The MareCet Research Organization, has been awarded a 2014 Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation to conduct new research on the country’s population of dugongs, a large coastal marine mammal that resembles the manatee.More

  • Pew Awards Chilean Scientist Stefan Gelcich the 2014 Fellowship in Marine Conservation

    Stefan Gelcich, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the Pontifica Universidad Catolica de Chile has been awarded a 2014 Pew fellowship in marine conservation for a new project that will examine the social and ecological incentives that enable territorial fishing within no-take zones along the Chilean coast. He will explore this mix of marine protected areas and territorial user rights fisheries, known as TURFs, as a strategy for the long-term preservation of ocean resources and sustainability. More

  • U.S. Senate Panel Advances Agreements to Fight Illegal Fishing

    The Foreign Relations Committee approved four fisheries agreements, including the Port State Measures Agreement, or PSMA, which would strengthen inspections and controls in ports worldwide.More

  • Fishing Forges Connections Across the Generations

    Pew's "Fishing Forging Connections Across the Generations" series continues to highlight personal stories about time spent fishing with friends and loved ones and why we need to protect our nation’s ocean fish.More

  • Technology for Fisheries Monitoring and Surveillance

    Monitoring and surveillance of fisheries is a complex and challenging problem. Traditionally, ships and aircraft have been the mainstay of surveillance efforts, however, the use of satellites and other technologies by fisheries enforcement officials has increased in recent years.More


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