Our work in fisheries
Overfishing is a serious problem: The majority of global stocks are fished hard, and many are crashing. But there is reason for hope.
EDF offers a different approach for recovery that works — it’s called catch shares.
See our 7-step guide on how catch shares work.
How we know catch shares restore fisheries
A recent study of fisheries in Canada and the U.S. showed that under catch shares:
- The amount of fish allowed to be caught increased 19% over 10 years of catch shares.
- Wasted fish (bycatch) decreased 66% over 10 years, meaning more fish in the ocean and healthier populations.
- Fleet-wide revenues increased 68% after 10 years and fisherman safety improved three-fold.
- Fishermen complied nearly 100% with catch limits—exceeding limits only five times in 86 seasons.
Spreading the word
Today, about 65% of all fish caught in U.S. federal waters are under catch shares. We’re working to bring this tool to more fisheries, both at home and abroad, by:
- CONVINCING skeptical fishermen of the benefits of catch shares through educational field trips with other fishermen in catch share programs in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
- WORKING on the Hill to educate congressional staff on the value of catch shares.
- PARTNERING with local groups in Belize and Mexico and empowering fishermen to improve their livelihoods and restore fish populations through catch shares.
- SCALING UP our successful model to end overfishing in small-scale international fisheries