The Four Fs of Fish: Communicating the Public Value of Fish and Fisheries

Journal or Book Title: Fisheries

Keywords: fish; fisheries; public value

Volume/Issue: 38(1)

Page Number(s): 43-44

Year Published: 2013


“Fish? Why fish?!” This is a common question we are often asked by those outside our field upon learning our profession. They are curious as to why we devote our lives to the study, conservation, restoration, and propagation of fish and
associated habitats. This question can come anywhere and at any time. Though it is a common inquiry, do we, as professionals and as a profession, have a good answer?

Effectively demonstrating the value of fish and the fisheries supply chain they create is as important for the future of our own profession as for the fish. This, however, is no easy task. The average American eats approximately 15.8 pounds of fish and shellfish per year (NOAA 2010) and less than 14% of adult
Americans report that they participate in recreational fishing (USFWS 2012). So, in general, Americans have little to no direct interaction with fish. Our role as fisheries professionals is to clearly articulate to the public and policy makers that fish are important and have value – locally, regionally, nationally,
and internationally. Such demonstration of public value ensures that fish and fisheries are afforded appropriate consideration in decision making – from the dinner table to the United Nations general assembly floor. Fish are important; no, they are more than important. They are essential to the survival of mankind.
Fish, after all, directly or indirectly contribute to subsistence, livelihoods, health, and prosperity for much of the world.

Type of Publication: Journal Article