Wild Capture Fisheries


A global industry

Wild capture fisheries exist in all corners of our globe. From the open ocean, estuaries, rivers, lakes, and even the Arctic ice sheet, global wild capture fisheries land millions of tonnes (~96 million to be exact) of seafood annually.

This production not only has significant impacts on the ecosystems in which they occur, but is also critically important to the food security and livelihoods of millions of people worldwide.


A spectrum of sustainability

Wild capture fisheries operate across a spectrum of sustainability. Some fisheries can be highly sustainable, using selective harvest methods and strong, science based management to ensure that they keep targeted populations and the greater ecosystem healthy.

In contrast, poorly managed fisheries can place incredibly pressure wild populations, including the species harvested and many others incidentally captured as bycatch or who also depend on the fish we eat as prey. Some fishing gears that interact with the seafloor can also damage critical habitats and bottom dwelling species.


Learn More

You can learn more about fisheries sustainability by visiting our Ocean Wise Explains  aquablog or learn more on how Ocean Wise assesses wild caught seafood by visiting our Standards.

To learn more about the many ways wild caught seafood is harvested, view our seafood harvest method guide.

Get Involved

Are you passionate about the future of our oceans? We’re always looking for ambassadors to help support our mission. Get connected and join us in the sustainable seafood movement today.