Gone Fishing

Industrial overfishing and other man-made factors have pushed one-third of the world’s fish stocks to be threatened with extinction, and many other species are not far behind. The problem represents a serious risk to ocean biodiversity, and to large human populations that rely on fish for day-to-day survival. What can be done?

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  • Gabrielle Sierra
    Podcast Host and Producer
Episode Guests
  • Manuel Barange
    Director, Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy and Resources Division, Food and Agriculture Organization
  • Michele Kuruc
    Vice President, Ocean Policy, World Wildlife Fund
  • Stewart M. Patrick
    James H. Binger Senior Fellow in Global Governance and Director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program

Show Notes

One third of the world’s fish stocks are currently overfished. Industrial fishing wreaks havoc on fragile marine ecosystems, and leads to egregious waste of marine life. The crisis is compounded by a lack of centralized oversight of the high seas and widespread illegal fishing operations.


Yet, as the world’s population booms, demand for fish as a source of protein and micronutrients is only expected to grow, particularly in some of the world’s poorest countries. In this episode, three experts assess the problem, and offer strategies for how the world can work together to preserve one of the earth’s most important shared resources.


From Manuel Barange


Feeding 9 billion by 2050—Putting fish back on the menu,” Food Security

Keynote Address, ICES Annual Science Conference 2019

Arctic Frontiers Conference 2020


Talking Oceans and Climate Change,” Food and Agriculture Organization


From Michele Kuruc


Michele Kuruc Before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee [PDF]


Life and Law,” World Wildlife Magazine


An Analysis of the Impact of IUU Imports on U.S. Fishermen [PDF],” World Wildlife Fund


The Threat of Illegal Fishing Is Too Great to Ignore,” Yahoo! News


From Stewart M. Patrick


Why the U.N. Pact on High Seas Biodiversity Is Too Important to Fail,” World Politics Review


Read More


North Pacific pollock fleet preps for season after tough 2020,” Alaska Journal of Commerce


Seafood from slaves,” Associated Press


Freshwater fish are in ‘catastrophic’ decline with one-third facing extinction, report finds,” CBS


EU must end overfishing to protect our oceans, say scientists,” Euronews


The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2020,” Food and Agriculture Organization


Revealed: seafood fraud happening on a vast global scale,” Guardian


Hidden Chains,” Human Rights Watch


Dramatic shark decline leaves ‘gaping hole’ in ocean, new study reports,” Japan Times


Japan’s chefs build on the growing market for sustainable seafood,” Japan Times


Another Side of Tilapia, the Perfect Factory Fish,” New York Times


‘The Fish Rots From the Head’: How a Salmon Crisis Stoked Russian Protests,” New York Times


The Battle Over Fish Farming In The Open Ocean Heats Up, As EPA Permit Looms,” NPR


Governments Should Act to End Harmful Fishing Subsidies,” Pew Charitable Trusts


Pressure Mounts on Governments Worldwide to Stop Subsidizing Overfishing,” Pew Charitable Trusts


5 Years Later: What’s Changed Since Mashiko Sushi Went Sustainable,” Seattle Magazine


Lawless Ocean: The Link Between Human Rights Abuses and Overfishing,” Yale Environment 360


Watch or Listen


The Fish on My Plate,” FRONTLINE


The four fish we’re overeating—and what to eat instead,” TED


Will the ocean ever run out of fish?” TED-Ed

Global Governance

In 2022, several colossal events dominated the headlines, most prominently the war in Ukraine and the worldwide inflation that it helped spark. But beyond Ukraine, events with global implications continued to unfold. In this episode, Why It Matters checks in with three CFR fellows and CFR President Richard Haass to understand the least-covered stories of 2022 and to take a peek at what could await the world in 2023.

Technology and Innovation

For years, the world thought of the internet as a borderless zone that brought people from around the world together. But as governments pursue very different regulatory paths, the monolithic internet is breaking apart. Now, where there had been one, there are at least three internets: one led by the United States, one by China, and one by the European Union.

International Organizations

The 2022 FIFA World Cup has kicked off in Qatar, and billions of fans worldwide are tuning in to the world’s most popular live event. And yet as in years past, the Qatar Cup is transpiring under the shadow of controversy.

Top Stories on CFR


The main battle tanks that the United States and Germany have agreed to provide Ukraine will help its forces punch through Russian fortifications and retake lost territory.

Sub-Saharan Africa

PEPFAR’s twentieth anniversary should prompt reflection on some inconvenient truths for U.S.-Africa relations.


Americans need to understand their obligations to one another and to their country if U.S. democracy is to survive.