The scientific work in this report was published in the journal, Science. It provides a new view of thousands of unassessed fisheries around the world and confirms the understanding that these fisheries are declining at alarming rates; in many cases, unassessed fisheries are in worse shape than we previously thought. In addition, the findings reinforce the fact that seemingly stable trends in global fisheries mask the reality that overfishing is rapidly increasing in many lower and middle income countries, often without strong management that would keep these stocks from collapsing.
The report's evaluation of fishery management and conservation programs also gives a thorough understanding of the successes – and gaps in – existing efforts. The picture is not uniformly bleak. Fisheries are recovering in many areas of the world, and these examples of success can be replicated elsewhere. Best management practices in fisheries are known, tested, and proven. But too often political and social hurdles keep them from being used.
The report highlights the need to tackle fisheries issues with a coordinated set of policy advocacy, market pressure, and capacity building efforts. It calls on the ocean conservation community to do a better job of connecting and coordinating our work. By better integrating and aggressively applying a range of tested solutions, the report shows that we can achieve sustainable fisheries within our lifetime.