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


How much scandal can fit in one can of tuna?

Blog by Casson Trenor | March 21, 2013

We’ve seen things go from bad to worse in the conventional canned tuna industry over the last year. In 2011, with the launch of Greenpeace’s campaign to reform Chicken of the Sea, information on the sector’s destructive practices came to … ...

Esperanza arrives in Davao

Image gallery | December 11, 2012

Spanish Longliner, South West Indian Ocean

Image gallery | October 2, 2012

Humpback Whales in The Indian Ocean

Image gallery | October 1, 2012

'Cooking The Climate Wreaking The Reef' Report

Image gallery | September 18, 2012

Big Miracle -- A Whale Rescue Movie With a Deeper Message

Blog by Phil Kline | January 30, 2012

This is a poor pun, but I can't resist -- I had a whale of time last Wednesday night at the DC premiere of Big Miracle, the new Drew Barrymore movie that features a family of grey whales as her co-stars. This whale of a tale (sorry,...

The big picture behind ‘Big Miracle’

Blog by Martin Lloyd | January 27, 2012

“This is Campbell Plowden, Whale Campaign Coordinator for Greenpeace.  I’d like to let you know that the Soviet Union is going to send two icebreakers to help clear a path for the whales trapped in Alaska.”     24 years ago...

Coral Tears in Thailand are Shed for All the World’s Oceans

Blog by Phil Kline | January 23, 2012

 CORAL BLEACHING MEANS THESE TWO FISH MIGHT HAVE WHAT’S LEFT OF THE REEF ALL TO THEMSELVES. Surin Island is your quintessential tropical paradise 60 km off the west coast...

2011: Thanks for an Amazing Year of Victories for the Planet

Blog by chris eaton | December 22, 2011

With the nuclear catastrophe at Fukushima and the rising challenge of climate change, 2011 might seem like a dark year for the environment. Yet this year also gave me a lot of hope. The growing power of grassroots activists has...

New Year's Resolution: End Whaling

Blog by John Hocevar, Oceans Campaign Director | December 19, 2011

For decades, Greenpeace has led the fight to protect whales and the oceans in which they live. We led successful efforts to ban "wall of death" high seas drift nets, which killed huge numbers of marine mammals each year. We...

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