Bring Back the Big Fish

bring back the big fish

By removing too many of the sea’s keystone predators, we weaken an entire tier at the top of the food chain. This may have dire biological consequences throughout the ecosystem, far beyond the social, economic and moral costs of depleted ocean fisheries.

The world’s large open-ocean predators – the tunas, swordfish, billfish and sharks – are the lions, tigers and wolves of the sea, wild creatures as awe-inspiring as any animals on earth. They sit at the top of the ocean food chain, where they play the critical role of maintaining balance and diversity.

Unfortunately, although these big fish have few natural predators, they are among the most threatened fish in the sea. The reasons these fish are threatened are three-fold: exploitation at rates faster than the fish can reproduce; indiscriminate and wasteful fishing practices; and ineffective management, at the national and international levels.

Wild Oceans has a long record of accomplishments working to protect and restore marlin and sailfish, swordfish, bluefin and other tunas, and sharks. Our activities cover a broad range of issues critical to the future of large ocean fish, among them: implementing recovery plans for all overfished species, featuring rebuilding targets and timetables; reducing commercial bycatch of non-target fish and other wildlife by promoting changes to more selective, sustainable fishing gears (best fishing practices); and promoting catch-and-release fishing among sport anglers and the use of circle hooks to enhance survival.

By promoting changes in government policy, innovative research, public education, and legal action when necessary, Wild Oceans is making significant progress toward these objectives.


Latest News

Protect Our Oceans From Destructive Fishing Gear

11/12/2020 This November, we have a chance to end the use of destructive drift gillnets in our oceans. California commercial fishermen use large-mesh gillnets to catch swordfish, but the gear also entangles, injures and kills over 60 other species, including sharks, billfish, endangered marine turtles, marine mammals and scores of ocean fish. Because drift gillnets...

Press Release: Sportfishing Community Successfully Halts Expanding Longlines On The West Coast

For Immediate Release: Sportfishing Community Successfully Halts Expanding Longlines On The West Coast November 22, 2019 – This week, in a win for the sportfishing community, the Pacific Fisheries Management Council voted to not proceed with consideration of an amendment that would authorize shallow-set longline gear in West Coast highly migratory species. “As leaders in…

Diverse Coalition Supports Keeping Longlines Out of California

24 local and national recreational leaders tell the Pacific Fishery Management Council to keep longlines out of west coast ports Next Tuesday, November 19, the Pacific Fishery Management Council is meeting in Costa Mesa, CA to revisit a plan to permit a California based longline fishery. While we all support fishing, we don’t support wasteful…


Short Sighted – NOAA’ s Push for More Longlines Jeopardizes Long-term Conservation Gains by Theresa Labriola   In the past two years, the gatekeepers of our public trust resources have been pursuing an aggressive agenda of increased exploitation that has reached the ocean. When Wilbur Ross was appointed Commerce Department Secretary, he announced a goal…

Press Release: California Modernizes Swordfish Fishery

For Immediate Release: California Modernizes Swordfish Fishery California to move U.S. swordfish fishery towards more sustainable gear, aided by public-private partnerships Waterford, VA – September 27, 2018 – Today, Governor Brown signed a Bill (SB1017) to end commercial drift gillnet fishing and encourage a transition to innovative, more sustainable fishing gear. His action aligns the California…

President Signs Billfish Conservation Act II

August 2, 2018.  President Donald Trump today signed into law HR 4528, bipartisan legislation to amend the Billfish Conservation Act to clarify that Pacific billfish exempted from the 2012 law’s federal no-sale provision must be sold locally in Hawaii and Pacific island territories (Guam, Samoa, etc.).  In effect, it achieves the original BCA’s intent to outlaw…