Never before has the need to shift from exploitation to good stewardship been more important.
"If we don’t properly manage our oceans, we face not only an environmental disaster, but a social one too. If we are not able to manage our fisheries in a sustainable way, we are proving that mankind is unable to learn."
From overfishing to ... smart fishing
Despite these alarming figures, the global seafood market is expected to grow another 50 million tons by 2025, urging fishermen, processors, suppliers, buyers and retailers to meet this demand. Aquaculture production is expanding each year but will only contribute to increase pressure on wild fisheries unless they are better managed.
Through the Smart Fishing Initiative (SFI), WWF´s global fisheries programme, WWF tackles the many problems of overfishing to contribute to a sustainable future for our global fisheries.
Our work entails:
- advocating good governance and sustainable fisheries management with fisheries administrations, politicians and governments; promoting the adoption of a legal, transparent system that ensures our seafood is sustainably caught.
- spurring fishers, processors, sellers, buyers and retailers to commit to certified fisheries, and to purchase and sell seafood products that can be traced back to its origin.
- inciting financial institutions to create new, responsible investment mechanisms that put a halt on overfishing.
The SFI collaborates with other existing WWF programmes, Global Initiatives and offices all over the world including the Global Marine Programme, Latin American Fisheries Programme (LAC), Coastal East Africa, Artic, Market Transformation and Coral Triangle Initiatives, the Mediterranean programme, the European Fisheries Programme and the Global Species Programme to find and promote solutions that help to maintain our fisheries and marine ecosystems healthy.
As the number, size and power of fishing boats has grown, an increasing number of commercial fisheries are being fished to the point of collapse.
Destructive practices such as bottom trawling are damaging and destroying sensitive marine habitats.
Millions of non-target fish and other ocean dwellers are incidentally killed each day as "bycatch".