• 77% of adults who buy seafood regularly support a ban on the fishing of endangered species
  • 73% support an end to government subsidies that lead to overfishing or illegal fishing
  • Sir David Attenborough has called for an end to harmful fishing subsidies

A new global survery has found significant public support for a ban on the fishing of endangered species.

The survey, commissioned by the World Economic Forum and conducted by Ipsos, found that more than three-quarters (77%) of adults who regularly buy seafood support a ban.

A similar number also support an end to government subsidies that lead to overfishing or illegal fishing (73%).

The data

Bar chart shows attitudes in various countries.
Most countries' populations support a ban on fishing endangered species.
Attitudes to subsidies.
Most people would support a ban on harmful subsidies.

There was also wide support for banning shops and restaurants from selling endangered species of fish - 77%.

What's the World Economic Forum doing about the ocean?

Our oceans cover 70% of the world’s surface and account for 80% of the planet’s biodiversity. We can't have a healthy future without healthy oceans - but they're more vulnerable than ever because of climate change and pollution.

Tackling the grave threats to our oceans means working with leaders across sectors, from business to government to academia.

The World Economic Forum, in collaboration with the World Resources Institute, convenes the Friends of Ocean Action, a coalition of leaders working together to protect the seas. From a programme with the Indonesian government to cut plastic waste entering the sea to a global plan to track illegal fishing, the Friends are pushing for new solutions.

Climate change is an inextricable part of the threat to our oceans, with rising temperatures and acidification disrupting fragile ecosystems. The Forum runs a number of initiatives to support the shift to a low-carbon economy, including hosting the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, who have cut emissions in their companies by 9%.

Is your organisation interested in working with the World Economic Forum? Find out more here.

A net gain

A third of the world's fish is harvested at biologically unsustainable levels.

Combine this with the millions of people who rely on seafood for their livelihoods and food security and the extent of the problem becomes clear.

subsidies by country
Funding over-fishing.

It's not only the public who support tackling the problem.

Last month, Sir David Attenborough called for an end to harmful fishing subsidies in a video created by the Friends of Ocean Action, the World Economic Forum and the WWF.

But, the good news is that 2017 research from the World Bank found that 'fishing less, but better', could generate an additional $83 billion every year for the industry.