The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Oak Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation are pleased to share California Environmental Associates’ report, Charting a Course to Sustainable Fisheries. Over 100 scientists and conservation professionals were involved in the development of Charting a Course to Sustainable Fisheries. We would like to thank everyone who took the time to contribute to and review this material. We believe that the resulting, comprehensive assessment and the data it contains will be a valuable resource to inform the work of any institution working on overfishing and sustainable seafood issues.

The scientific work in the report was recently published in the journal, Science. It provides a new view of thousands of unassessed fisheries around the world and confirms our 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 us 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.

We hope that the report’s findings will spark conversations among those involved in ocean conservation, global fisheries, and food security issues. We hope you find Charting a Course to Sustainable Fisheries useful in your work and ask that you share this valuable resource with your immediate networks and wider audiences interested in ocean issues.