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

 

Carting Away the Oceans 7

Publication | May 29, 2013 at 10:10

Greenpeace's Carting Away the Oceans (CATO) report evaluates and ranks supermarkets on their sustainable seafood policies. This seventh iteration of CATO has been written under a new motif—one that lends itself to a slightly softer and more...

Carting Away the Oceans V

Publication | April 12, 2011 at 8:30

Our oceans are in peril. Despite the sustainable seafood movement gaining steam globally, the devastation wrought by global industrialized fishing continues on a massive scale. In spite of overwhelming evidence and strong warnings from the...

Polling results show that 83% of Americans want President Obama to save the whales

Publication | January 11, 2011 at 9:58

New Greenpeace polling results show that 83% of Americans want President Obama to use his power to help strengthen the international ban on commercial whaling.

Defending the last ocean

Publication | August 5, 2010 at 14:13

This is the story of how our fishermen, having taken so many fish from the seas closer to home, are now venturing to the ends of the Earth in order to maintain our insatiable appetite for seafood. This is also the story of how a group of...

Supermarket Seafood Sustainability Scorecard

Publication | April 27, 2010 at 18:00

An overview of how supermarkets rank on seafood sustainability.

Taking Stock of Tuna

Publication | December 9, 2009 at 18:00

Tuna is the world’s favorite fish. It can be found from high-end sushi restaurants in Tokyo to family shopping trolleys in North American supermarkets and the dinner plates of Pacific island communities. With the world’s appetite for tuna now...

Greenpeace statement to the 21st Regular Meeting of ICCAT

Publication | November 16, 2009 at 14:35

As far back as 2002, ICCAT contracting parties agreed on a bluefin tuna management plan which disregarded the scientific advice available at the time. Additionally, by not putting limits at that time to a fishery in rapid expansion in the...

Polar Oceans in Peril
...and a planet at risk

Publication | July 20, 2009 at 18:00

The Arctic and the Antarctic are under assault - from the impacts of rapidly accelerating climate change; from increased industrialization; and from the unchecked consumption of our planet's resources.

Carting Away the Oceans - Fourth Update

Publication | June 29, 2009 at 18:00

Supermarkets feed the growing appetite for seafood in the U.S. and ring up approximately $16 billion each year in seafood sales. Consumers buy half their seafood at supermarkets, yet as our report reveals, few supermarkets meet this consumer...

Pushed to the Brink: The oceans and climate change

Publication | August 26, 2008 at 18:00

It is a matter of serious concern that the oceans are being systematically degraded and are in decline. The most immediate and significant threat to the oceans is overfishing and destructive fishing practices like bottom trawling. But, global...

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