According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 3.3 billion people rely on fish for 20% of their animal protein and, collectively, the nations of the world catch over 85 million metric tons of wild fish and shellfish from the oceans annually. Yet, due to the impacts of climate change, ocean acidification, habitat destruction, biodiversity loss, overfishing and pollution, the world’s oceans are generally in a state of decline, with aquaculture increasingly being used as the source for growing production. Today, 87% of the world’s wild fisheries are fully exploited, overexploited or depleted. As a result, larger and larger portions of the ocean are now being fished in order to simply maintain catch levels, let alone meet growing demand from rising human populations.
Suggested story topics and guidelines:
Mongabay is seeking stories related to the nexus of marine conservation and the fishing industry. While the nature of these issues is global in scope, our geographic focus will prioritize stories relevant to China, Indonesia, India, West Africa, Latin America, and the South Pacific.
We welcome proposals from experienced journalists for conventional news stories, in-depth features, investigative reports, profiles, and case studies. We will also consider proposals for fully edited and produced videos of up to 10 minutes in length. Mongabay is particularly interested in stories that are relevant to one of the following subjects, themes, or approaches:
– Efforts to reduce illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing
– Tracing the beneficial ownership of illegal fishing operations
– The co-occurrence of IUU fishing with other illegal activities, such as forced labor, human trafficking, drug trafficking, and money laundering
– The impact of fisheries on fish stocks and the health of the marine environment
– The governance of fisheries industries, particularly at a national and intergovernmental scale
– The impact of fisheries on the livelihoods, food security and wellbeing of local people
– The effectiveness of sustainability commitments or certifications made by fisheries corporations and governments
– Traceability of seafood supply chains
Each story will be between 800 and 2,000 words in length and will include quotes from at least three original interviews. Authors will be expected to provide five to 10 publishable photos free for Mongabay’s use to accompany their articles, along with captions and photo credits.
Mongabay will negotiate all fees and contracts on a per-story basis. Completed stories will be paid on a per word or fixed fee basis, with rates depending primarily on the journalist’s experience. Mongabay.com publishes under an open Creative Commons license that allows for sharing, translation, and re-posting. More information on Mongabay’s editorial standards and practice can be found here.
How to submit your story pitch
To send Mongabay a pitch, please be prepared to also share your resume/portfolio along with three samples of your work. The story pitch should be roughly 500 words in length and include a title for the project. Viable pitches will clearly explain the specific subject you would like to write about in detail and your approach to covering it, and describe a few potential sources. Pitches for video-led stories should also include a shot list and a list of expected interviews.
Support for travel expenses may also be provided by Mongabay. Please include a preliminary travel plan and budget estimate (using this template) if support for travel expenses will be required to carry out reporting. Do not include payments for your work in this budget estimate. Please also describe COVID-19-related precautions you intend to take and any travel restrictions that may impact your plans.
- Pitch a story to the Oceans team in English