Reducing fishing pressure

WWF promotes a range of measures to reduce fishing pressure, in order to allow over-exploited fish populations to recover and ensure the maintenance of healthy populations. 

We are particularly working for:

  • science-based fishing quotas
  • credible fisheries control schemes
  • effective fisheries recovery plans
  • protection of spawning aggregations, juvenile fish, and important fish habitats through permanent or seasonal measures such as fishing gear restrictions, fisheries closures, and no-take zones through for example the creation of fisheries Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), especially in our vulnerable deep seas and high seas
 / ©: Brent Stirton / Getty Images
A bundle of fish for sale at Suva Market, Fiji Islands. This species of fish congregate to spawn at a certain time of the year, and this is when the fisherman target this fish. This is very harmful for this species.
© Brent Stirton / Getty Images

What's the problem?

52% of the world's fisheries are fully exploited, and 24% are overexploited, depleted, or recovering from depletion. Find out more...

Examples of our work

Examples of WWF´work to reduce fishing pressure include:

• successfully advocating for seasonal closures in several European fisheries

• helping to develop and implement fish recovery plans in key commercial fisheries. These include tuna, cod, overfished species in European waters; deep-sea fisheries; and fisheries in the Southern and Pacific Oceans.

• helping to create Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), no-take zones, and seasonal closures around important spawning and nursery sites to help depleted local fisheries recover and reduce the impact of fisheries on marine life, including in Australia, Belize, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Indonesia, Mozambique, Senegal, Turkey, and the US. Several of these MPAs and fisheries are managed by local communities, often using traditional practices.

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