About us

Our mission is to communicate the science, policies, and human dimensions of sustainable fisheries.

Seafood is delicious, nutritious, and complicated. Fisheries are extractive, yet renewable. They are largely threatened by climate change and ocean acidification, yet eating fish instead of other animal protein would reduce carbon emissions. Fisheries are a common pool resource—the ocean is not private property—making management both fascinating and complex. We hope you enjoy learning about the intricacies of seafood as much as we like writing about it.

Over 2 billion people rely on seafood as their primary source of protein. Seafood is one of the least environmentally impactful proteins you can eat. Further, over 250 million people are financially supported by fisheries, but many have complicated justice and rights issues

Poor & incapacitated management can lead to overfishing and bad practices. According to FAO, 69% of fisheries are currently sustainable, providing 82% of consumed seafood. We want to get these numbers up to 100%!

Fisheries in many countries have been improving for decades. After many high profile fish stock crashes in the 1980s & 1990s (like Atlantic Cod), governments around the world have made huge efforts to manage their fisheries. The US leads the way in sustainability with 95% of fisheries providing over 99% of consumed seafood.

To Educate

Fisheries are a beautiful mix of hard sciences and social sciences. Ecology, mathematical modeling, and climate science collide with economics, social justice, and global food systems in a muddled, but fascinating way. We aim to explain every aspect of fisheries to provide a clear understanding for anyone interested in learning. Our posts can be long, but they will always be clear.

To Empower People

We hope our focus on the relationship between people and fish empowers indigenous people, fishermen & women, and fishery scientists & managers by promoting perspectives that build respect and appreciation for the people that depend on seafood for food and livelihood. We intend to be a constant reminder that fisheries and sustainability are constructs created by and for people.

A Resource for Journalists

Thanks to the internet, thorough reporting has given way to quick, pumped out stories for clicks that often miss the nuance and complexity of fisheries. We hope to be a place where journalists and storytellers can come for reference. We offer a network of scientists and experts for fact checking, suggestions, or edits (for free!), to any journalist writing about fisheries.

We were founded by a group of fishery scientists led by Dr. Ray Hilborn. We are run by a small staff, all of who have advanced degrees in some element of fisheries. All of our posts, features, and editorials are edited and fact checked by experts.

Read more about our staff here.

Our funding is part of a larger project at the University of Washington (hence our URL) that primarily pays student and researcher salaries to build, maintain, and analyze fishery databases. We feature some of the research publications that come from those analyses, but also report on other studies. The money is provided to the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at UW, which oversees the project. Contributors to the project include various philanthropic foundations, government grants, international organizations, environmental NGOs, and some fishing companies and their affiliated NGOs.

Read Ray Hilborn’s thoughts on the role of industry funding.