Sustainable fisheries and aquaculture

Fisheries and aquaculture provide food for billions of people around the world, and play an important role in the local economy of coastal communities in many countries. But marine and aquatic ecosystems are under stress – from climate change, overfishing and other unsustainable fishing practices, and pollution from various other human activities.

Healthy fish stocks are a key component of biodiversity and ecosystems, and as a such are key to the Ocean’s capacity to provide essential ecosystem services. Healthy fish stocks can also produce more food and incomes for fishers. The OECD, through the work of its Fisheries Committee, investigates how public policies can better support fisheries’ contribution to global food security and a sustainable ocean economy while ensuring fish stock health and minimising overall environmental impact.

What's new in fisheries?

OECD Fisheries Committee Workshops - November 2023

Experts from around the world gathered to discuss climate change mitigation and adaptation in fisheries and how aquaculture policies can better support sustainable production:

Climate change and fisheries - Presentations Part I | Part II | Watch the replay

Mitigating the impact of fisheries on climate change - Download issues note

How to adapt fisheries to climate change - Download issues note

Fostering sustainable aquaculture - Presentations | Watch the replay

How has fisheries policy changed?

Around two-thirds of the fish stocks assessed in the OECD Review of Fisheries 2022 are in good health, but at least one in five do not meet sustainability standards and need rebuilding. Many stocks could produce more food or more value for fishers if they were more abundant. The reports reviews how individual species are managed and identifies where management needs to be strengthened to ensure fisheries are sustainable.

How governments support the sector also matters. Over USD 10 billion in public money goes to support fisheries every year. The 2022 edition of the report proposes a self-assessment tool to identify where government support may risk encouraging unsustainable fishing, and recommends alternative support policies and better targeting. 

The short read: Policy Highlights


The Policy Briefs for the OECD Review of Fisheries 2022 report provide a summary of key findings, the latest data, and what policy makers can do to support sustainable fisheries and aquaculture.

» Managing fish stocks sustainably (FrançaisEspañolPortuguês中文)

» Supporting sustainable fisheries (FrançaisEspañolPortuguês中文)

» Eliminating government support to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing (FrançaisEspañolPortuguês中文)


What the data tells us

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More information on fisheries

Eliminating government support to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing

This report assesses how to stop IUU fishing benefitting from government support.

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Fisheries and aquaculture publications

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