We compile global data to examine the current status, trends, threats, and opportunities in the world's wild-capture fisheries. We find that global fisheries have largely diverged—well-managed, often industrial fisheries tend to be in reasonably good health, while coastal fisheries, often from low-governance regions, tend to be in poor health. Good governance seems to play a central role, and we summarize key findings from the literature on how effective fishery management can simultaneously increase food security, livelihoods, and conservation outcomes. Other solutions, such as marine protected areas and big data, can be useful but will not, by themselves, solve the main fishery challenges. We conclude by examining notorious threats, such as climate change and lack of governance on the high seas, and find that these can be largely neutralized with good fishery management, suggesting that overall, the future of wild fisheries can be bright with effective fishery management interventions.


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