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Why Are Wild Caught Fisheries Important?

One of the most fundamental services the ocean provides people is the provision of seafood.  It helps to meet the basic nutritional needs of over half of the world’s population.  Over one billion people rely on fish as a daily source of protein.  87% of the world’s wild caught fisheries are fully exploited, overexploited or depleted.

Goal Score

51 The goal score for Sub-Goal: Wild Caught Fisheries is 51 out of 100. The global average score is 70 out of 100.

Likely Future State


It is estimated that in the near future the score for Sub-Goal: Wild Caught Fisheries will improve roughly +10%.
global score

What Does This Score Mean?

This sub-goal assesses the amount of wild-caught seafood that can be sustainably harvested. The population biomass (the weight of fish in the ocean) of each landed stock is compared to the biomass that can deliver the stock’s maximum sustainable yield. The geometric mean of the values for all stocks in an area, each weighted by its proportional contribution to the total catch, gives the overall fisheries stock status for that area.

The goal target is for regions to have their biomass of wild stocks within 5% of the amount that can sustainably deliver the maximum sustainable yield. Regions are penalized for both under- or over-harvesting. Penalties for under-harvesting are half as large as for over-harvesting.

Current Score
The current score indicates that most regions are significantly below their sustainable target values. Some regions are jeopardizing their future landings with unsustainable yields, while others are not producing as much wild-caught seafood as they could.

more information


FAO. 2011. Review of the state of the world marine fishery resources. Fisheries and Aquaculture, Policy and Economics Division, Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, UN Food and Agriculture Organization.  Rome.
FAO. 2012. The  State of the World Fisheries and Aquaculture. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: Rome, Italy..