The text on this site is presented as an archival version of the script of "Ocean Planet," a 1995 Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition. The content reflects the state of knowledge at the time of the exhibition, and has not been updated.

Fishing . . .

This "buoy" will help you navigate through the causes, effects, and responses to problems associated with overfishing, bycatch of non-target species, fishing practices that harm fish habitats, and the social and ecological consequences of overfishing.

Each of the four sides of this buoy marks the course through oceans in peril.


Most of the world's commercially important fish species are fished to capacity or depleted

photo © Wolfgang Kaehler


Overfishing has social and ecological consequences

photo © NOAA


Bombs, poison, and scrapers damage habitats
Cyanide, blast fishing and bottom trawling alter fish habitats and kill non-target species.
photo © Lynn Funkhouser


Nets are not always selective: some scoop up everything in their paths
Commercial marine fisheries in the U.S. alone toss away up to 20 billion pounds of by-catch each year--twice the commercial and recreational catch combined.
photo © Robert W. Parvin

Ocean Planet Exhibition Floorplan

gene carl feldman ( (301) 286-9428
Judith Gradwohl, Smithsonian Institution (Curator/Ocean Planet)