Fishing is changing the world's oceans in ways scientists can not fully understand. We may only learn about the nature and extent of the damage after it is too late to do anything to stop it.

A Fishy Story

Beneath the serene beauty of our ocean waters lurks a nightmare worse than any Jaws movie. You could compare it to alien abduction - massive numbers of fish are being snatched out of the water by high-tech factory fishing trawlers. This nightmare scenario is real, and the impacts on our ocean's ecosystems are extensive. Entire populations of fish are being targeted and destroyed, disrupting the food chain from top to bottom.

A Tiny Example of an Enormous Problem

Throughout the Chesapeake Bay and surrounding Atlantic waters, there lives a fish near the bottom of the food chain: it's called the menhaden. It's not a glamorous or beautiful fish, but this tiny creature supports an entire food chain that leads all the way up to whales in the Atlantic Ocean. And it is disappearing.

This once abundant fish has become the symbol of overfishing, and its loss could have a dramatic impact on our oceans.

If the menhaden is the symbol of overfishing, the Omega Protein company has become the symbol of corporate greed and excess in the fishing community. Omega's high-tech factory ships have been locating menhaden schools and literally vacuuming them out of the water.

The fishiest part of this story is that it is just one example of many in our oceans today.

This summer, Greenpeace is focussing on a tiny fish in the Chesapeake Bay, to demonstrate a worldwide problem facing our oceans. Join us on our voyage to save the oceans.

The latest updates

 

12 (Not so) Fun Facts about Overfishing

Blog by John Hocevar | June 30, 2014

People used to think that the oceans were too big for us to impact very much. Unfortunately, over the past few decades scientists have realized that in fact, fishing has already radically transformed our oceans through a combination of illegal...

What is stalling the creation of global ocean sanctuaries?

Blog by Richard Page | June 26, 2014

Recently, after sifting through a box of dusty 45s, I have had a Billy Bragg song, Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards, firmly stuck in my head. The song has lodged itself there, not just because it has a nifty piano hook, but because the lyrics...

PHOTOS: Iceland catches endangered whales for commercial export to Japan

Blog by Phil Kline | June 23, 2014

Despite an international ban on trading in endangered species such as the fin whale, Iceland has caught its first two endangered fin whales of 2014. The endangered whales are intended for commercial export to Japan.  As the first of this year’s...

How you can act to protect high seas biodiversity

Blog by Jason Schwartz | June 13, 2014

Thousands of people have already retweeted or joined our Thunderclap calling on John Kerry to support a UN agreement to protect high seas biodiversity. We have his attention. What we really need now lots and lots of unique, diverse voices...

Dear John (Kerry): You gonna commit to high seas biodiversity or what?

Blog by Greenpeace Staff | June 10, 2014

Sunday may have been World Oceans Day, but considering half of all the oxygen we breathe comes from the oceans, we should be thanking our lucky stars for them every day. John Kerry knows how important they are. That’s why he and the US...

Beloved cartoon whale is dead from eating too much “plistuc’

Blog by Cassady Sharp | June 6, 2014

Greenpeace New Zealand and the creators behind the original Beached AZ Whale  launched a campaign to raise awareness about the risk plastic in the ocean poses to marine life. Plastic currently makes up 80 percent of debris in the ocean. World...

Shipment of whale meat from Iceland arrives in Japan

Blog by Junichi Sato | May 8, 2014

We had a strange visitor to Japan yesterday. The Alma, a refrigerated cargo vessel which has sailed all the way from Iceland, brought 2,000 tons of fin whale meat, valued at over 13 million US dollars. It sailed around the tip of Africa, cut out...

Growing up on the Bering Sea

Blog by George Pletnikoff | May 8, 2014

When I was a boy, I would stand on the beaches of St. George Island, amazed by the wealth of life, both in the waters and on the lands of our small island. How could such a small land mass — part of the Pribilof Islands of the Bering Sea —...

If you eat tuna, you should know these five fish

Blog by Willie Mackenzie | May 5, 2014

Tuna are wild animals, but many people simply understand them as food. Using the shorthand ‘tuna’ can bit confusing, as it tends to cover a whole family of species, from the relatively small and widespread skipjack, right up to the majestic and...

Is it time for Bering Sea Canyon Marine Protected Areas yet?

Blog by Jackie Dragon | April 8, 2014

This post Is it time for Bering Sea Canyon Marine Protected Areas yet? originally appeared on the blog of Greenpeace USA. This week the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) again turns its attention to the Bering Sea. For more...

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