Solutions to overfishing include changing fishing gear to decrease its negative effect on fish populations and the environment, releasing large fish, encouraging the development of small fishing endeavors, and managing fisheries through co-management. Changing the way catch limits are imposed can also help reduce overfishing.
Examples of fishing techniques that lead to overfishing include high-sea trawlers that drag nets at the bottom of the ocean, stringing along thousands of baited hooks from one fishing line. Reducing the effects of overfishing can be accomplished by making changes to the gear that fishermen use by holding cash-prize competitions to encourage fishermen to submit new gear ideas. Changing which fish to catch and what fish to catch can help reduce overfishing. The long-held belief of keeping the largest fish has affected the size of available fish. Selecting fish by their size, for example, contributed to the fishing moratorium on Atlantic cod. Fishing for organisms lower on the food web, instead of apex predators such as tuna and salmon, can have a positive impact on the problem of overfishing because more small prey exist than large predators.
Smaller fisheries catch as much as large-scale fisheries, but large fisheries typically use bigger ships while employing fewer people. Encouraging fishermen to participate in the management of their fisheries, along with local and federal governments, can help fishermen understand their effects on local ecosystems.