Fishing is the most destructive industry for both marine life and the world's aquatic ecosystems. In the United States, more than 17,000,000,000 fish are killed each year. Globally, that number approaches 100 billion. In addition to the fish that are actually eaten, millions of mammals, birds, turtles, and other aquatic creatures die as a result of this devastating industry.

Shrimp trawling, a method of catching small crustaceans in which nets are pulled behind boats, has one of the greatest impacts. In one study, the Food and Agriculture Organization found that as much as 98% of catches are discarded (North Atlantic) with an average of 85% in the world's oceans.