Oceans Under Threat: Overfishing

deadline for submissions: 
May 1, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
contact email: 

An ocean is not just an ecological space, but a social, economic, and cultural one. The threat of overfishing incorporates all these dimensions, yet research has not addressed overfishing equitably across geographies, species, cultures, economies or futures (especially in relation to climate change). Even rarer are studies that address the complex risks arising from overfishing in a way that transparently acknowledges uncertainties and interactions across these multiple aspects. We are inviting papers for a special issue of the journal Fishes on the theme of “Oceans under Threat: Overfishing”, including case studies focusing on data-limited fisheries and explorations of hybrid (quantitative and qualitative) modelling approaches to assess the risks of overfishing. We hope to see a diverse range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches. We especially welcome interdisciplinary studies across social and environmental sciences and the arts and humanities, for example, fisheries science and policy explorations of how to augment the skewed and patchy Global North-centric knowledge basis of stock assessments used to inform progress towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 14). We would like to see traditional analyses integrated with humanities-led critiques of existing methodologies/measures, to underpin innovative approaches to predict, mediate and communicate future risks of overfishing. Contributors are also encouraged to contextualise their studies, especially where there is a relatively narrow focus, so that there is transparency about what may be left out.

In addition to hybrid modelling, areas of interest include (but are not limited to) the ethics of fishing and overfishing across the blue humanities, applied ethics, science and technology studies, and other fields; Indigenous fishing practices and communities; narrative, graphic design, and innovative approaches to risk communication and stakeholder engagement; decision support tools; ecocentric legal and regulatory approaches to fisheries and ocean management; sociological or cultural studies pertinent to fisheries; and diegetic prototyping of new technologies aiming to reduce the various risks that overfishing poses to oceans. Interdisciplinary submissions may also wish to include reflection on the nature of their collaboration, including the challenges, limitations, and opportunities for sharing knowledge and practice across disciplines in relation to overfishing.

We particularly welcome contributors from less represented research centres in the Global South. All submissions will be peer-reviewed, and editorial support will be available both from the MDPI/Fishes journal team and the editors. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions, or to discuss your proposals.

Guest Editors

Dr. Polina Levontin
Dr. Jo Lindsay Walton


The editors also welcome informal enquiries, including those from researchers interested in forming interdisciplinary collaborations. We hope this will be an opportunity for arts and humanities perspectives to create dialogue with more science-based approaches, in a venue typically focused predominantly on the latter.

Manuscript Submission Information 

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Fishes is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • overfishing
  • uncertainty
  • marine policy
  • SDG14
  • blue humanities
  • critical humanities
  • fisheries economics
  • qualitative methods
  • Indigenous fishers’ knowledge