State of Global Fishery

Our oceans and the fishery resources they contain are under pressure from many factors, including:

  • Increasing global demand for seafood;
  • New fishing technologies that have made it easier to catch large quantities of fish;
  • Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU page)—in domestic and international waters;
  • Fisheries management that varies in effectiveness from region to region; and,
  • Destructive fishing techniques, climate change and pollution that is disturbing marine ecosystems and affecting the health of fish and other marine species.

What is the result?

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 57% of the world's fish stocks are fully exploited, 13% are non-fully exploited, and 30% are overexploited.

Although the outlook may appear bleak, there is some good news. The fishing industry, governments, international organizations and consumers have recognized the situation and many are taking action to address the challenges facing the global fishery and the world's oceans. Canada has been a leader in efforts to address overfishing and improve international fisheries and oceans governance in our own waters and on the high seas.

Every two years, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations releases “The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture.”