Subsidizing the Decline in Ocean Health

Episode 58

Subsidizing the Decline in Ocean Health

Stat: 93. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. estimates 93 percent of marine fisheries worldwide are fished at or beyond sustainable catch levels.

Story: A large part of overfishing is driven by subsidies—most of which go to large-scale fishing fleets from industrialized nations. We learn about how subsidies can alter the economics of fishing from Pew’s Isabel Jarrett and researcher Rashid Sumaila. And we travel to Senegal to hear from local fishers on the impact to their communities.

Related resources:

The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2018 

Fishing Subsidies Are Speeding the Decline of Ocean Health

How Fishing Subsidies Hurt the Ocean—and Us, Too

Ending Harmful Fisheries Subsidies Could Reverse Decline in Fish Stocks 

Talks Begin on WTO Treaty to End Harmful Fisheries Subsidies 

Scientist Sees Harmful Fisheries Subsidies Taking Toll on Global Fish Stocks


After the Fact


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Data-driven policymaking is not just a tool for finding new solutions for emerging challenges, it makes government more effective and better able to serve the public interest. In the coming months, President Joe Biden and the 117th Congress will tackle a number of environmental, health, public safety, and fiscal and economic issues—nearly all of them complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. To help solve specific, systemic problems in a nonpartisan fashion, Pew has compiled a series of briefings and recommendations based on our research, technical assistance, and advocacy work across America.