Overfishing and unsustainable industrial fishing are causing a devastating loss of marine biodiversity through excessive bycatch.

Seafood consumption threatens more than the planet — it has become an alarming threat to humans, too. Saturated in microplastics and mercury, seafood is poisoning our bodies. The ubiquitous nature of microplastics (tiny plastic fragments from clothes, cosmetics, and industrial processes) is cause for serious concern as they accumulate in the oceans and the marine animals we eat. Mercury is another toxin that has been continuously present in seafood; fish are the number one cause for mercury exposure in the United States. The burgeoning environmental health epidemic of microplastics spanning across the food chain and the continued presence of mercury in our seafood pose serious risks to our health, including digestive harm, kidney toxicity, and a range of neurological issues like memory loss and motor dysfunction.

Seafood hazards go beyond public health travesties. Overfishing and unsustainable industrial fishing methods result in a devastating loss of marine biodiversity through excessive bycatch — threatening marine ecosystem functions and endangered species like the leatherback sea turtle. Human rights abuses have become an ever growing consequence of the longlining fleet. As captains seek cheap labor, workers from underdeveloped eastern Asian regions are filling this hole. Taking advantage of back door laws, fishing captains detain foreign workers on their ships and withhold their passports, leading to a myriad of human rights violations. As one of the first organizations to ring the alarm about the dangerous levels of mercury in seafood, Turtle Island Restoration Network continues to stay vigilant of the fishing industry and the effects it has on both the marine world and our bodies.

How we expose seafood hazards

Improve Consumer Choices

Our campaigns help you make healthier seafood choices, raise public awareness about the amount of mercury in seafood, and alert consumers to the high mercury content of swordfish and tuna.

How we expose seafood hazards

Encourage Government Action

Our strategic litigation and advocacy campaigns enforce stronger protections for endangered species.

How we expose seafood hazards

Environmental Education

Our classroom visits, beach cleanups, art installations and more raise awareness on the importance of marine conservation.

How we expose seafood hazards

Inspire Consumer Change

Our science-based campaigns and resources use the latest data to help you make the right decisions for you and your family.

Ban “Death Nets”

Undercover footage shows the harmful nature of the driftnet fishery operating off the California coast. Workers are seen sawing fins off sharks while the animals are still alive. Protected species, like dolphins, sea lions, and seabirds are killed daily by the “walls of death” of the driftnet fishing industry.

Our Impact


Miles closed to shrimping in South Texas near prime turtle nesting beaches


Nations compelled to adopt rules that make shrimp nets safer for sea turtles


Square miles of the Pacific Ocean closed to longline and driftnet fishing methods