Cleaning up fisheries

Project Seahorse works with governments, industry, and small-scale fishers to tackle the problems of overfishing and destructive fishing practices — two of the greatest threats to our oceans today. We make fisheries sustainable and improve food security through a combination of policy work, management tools, outreach, and education.

Our work / Field stories / Why protect shallow seas?  

(Banner photo: Claudio Contreras Koob/iLCP) 

 
 
A pair of women glean for shellfish, nudibranchs, and other invertebrates just off shore. This type of fishing accounts for half of all household food on Danajon Bank. Claudio Contreras Koob/iLCP

A pair of women glean for shellfish, nudibranchs, and other invertebrates just off shore. This type of fishing accounts for half of all household food on Danajon Bank. Claudio Contreras Koob/iLCP

 

 

What we do

BY THE NUMBERS

10 kilograms

Amount of bycatch for every one kilogram of shrimp caught by trawlers. Many trawl fisheries deliberately catch anything and everything they can scoop up with their nets.


1,000

Number of small-scale fishing families we brought together in an alliance to protect seahorses and shallow seas in central Philippines


5 million

Number of people we've reached with Expedition: Danajon Bank, our 2013-14 international conservation education campaign

 

Policy and management for sustainable fisheries

Project Seahorse studies the impact of fisheries and fishing practices on coastal marine ecosystems, and from our research we develop policy recommendations, management briefings and other tools to help governments use these resources effectively and sustainably. 

Putting an end to trawling

Bottom trawling has long been one of Project Seahorse’s major conservation concerns. Through our field research and trade surveys, we have consistently demonstrated that this destructive fishing practice, also known as 'annihilation trawling,' is the single greatest threat to seahorses and shallow seas. 

In response to troubling recent developments in global trawl fisheries — especially the shift toward 'annihilation' trawling, which targets anything and everything in our oceans — we have published new analyses of the issue and taken to the media to lay out the case against trawl fisheries and what needs to be done.  

Outreach and network-building

We work with local communities to encourage the use of sustainable, non-destructive fishing gears and reduce fishing pressures.

In the Philippines, for example, we established and mentored an alliance of 1000 small-scale fishers and their families (KAMADA) to enforce fishing laws and set up marine protected areas

We have also created local and international education and awareness campaigns that highlight the impact of overfishing and destructive fishing practices and promote conservation action. Expedition: Danajon Bank, our educational photo exhibition, has reached over five million people at zoos and aquariums in London, Hong Kong, Chicago, and Manila.

 
 
Overfishing is a major problem on Danajon Bank. For small fishers, a night's work might yield about US $2.50. A generation ago, fishers could feed their entire family on just a few hours of fishing. Claudio Contreras Koob/iLCP

Overfishing is a major problem on Danajon Bank. For small fishers, a night's work might yield about US $2.50. A generation ago, fishers could feed their entire family on just a few hours of fishing. Claudio Contreras Koob/iLCP

 

 

Stories from the field

 
 
Kerrie O'Donnell/Project Seahorse

Kerrie O'Donnell/Project Seahorse

Luciano Candisani/iLCP

Luciano Candisani/iLCP