Environmental Initiatives

Tuna and sharks face a common threat: unsustainable fishing on a global scale. Industrial surface longlining, a fishing method that sets hundreds of hooks on lines averaging 30 miles in length, is devastating Western Atlantic bluefin tuna, one of the most commercially valuable fish. They also hook thousands of other animals, including endangered sea turtles and game fish like marlin.

In the Mediterranean, huge purse seine nets are scooping up schools of Eastern Atlantic bluefin on their spawning grounds. In the Pacific, the last remaining healthy stocks of tuna are under greater pressure today than ever before as huge industrial fishing fleets move in to catch them.

Up to 73 million sharks are killed each year for their fins alone, most by industrial fishing fleets. Some are caught incidentally and others are targeted in unmanaged fisheries ― almost all for shark fin soup. These apex predators are critical to the health of many marine ecosystems and are important sources of ecotourism revenue for poor countries, but they are fast disappearing from every ocean and sea.

Pew is leading global campaigns to change practices and policies, to help ensure the conservation of marine species at risk, and to ensure healthy ocean ecosystems.

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