Taming the Ocean’s Wild West

The high seas are often called the ocean’s Wild West—open territory far from any shoreline or national jurisdiction where the global fishing fleet takes a free-for-all approach to harvesting the world’s shared resources. There’s some truth to that, but there are, in fact, laws intended to manage fishing on the high seas. They’re hard to monitor and even harder to enforce. Read more

IUU – Illegal, Unreported, Unregulated Fishing

The term IUU crops up frequently on our site and in discussions of the global fishing industry. It stands for illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and it is one of the most serious threats to the sustainability of world fisheries. Read more

What Ports Can Tell Us

Ports provide an important source of information to help us combat Illegal fishing and understand the science and economics of global fisheries. “They serve as the interface between land and sea for fishing vessels,” says Wessley Merten, our data and fisheries analyst at Oceana. “Wherever there’s a port, there’s an interaction. Whether it be offloading catch, exchanging crew, or fueling up to go back out to fish, you have officials and agencies who are theoretically greeting captains, crews and observers.”
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Rendezvous at Sea: What is Transshipping?

In the commercial fishing world, transshipment is the transfer of catch from one vessel to another. During a transshipment, a fishing vessel meets up with a large refrigerated cargo-type ship, known as a “reefer.” They tie up alongside one another and drift while the fishing vessel offloads tons of catch before heading back out to the fishing grounds. Read more

Beyond the Horizon

Most of the oceans are over the horizon and under the waves. As a result, the ocean is incredibly difficult to monitor. With regards to fishing, most of our data on where and when fishing occurs comes from data collected at port or through the logs of Read more

Who Owns the Fish: High Seas and the EEZs

To look out over the ocean at a horizon that stretches for thousands of miles, it’s almost easy to understand how we have allowed overfishing to become such a serious problem. It’s that very quality of limitlessness that led the world to believe there would always be enough. Read more