Fish and other marine life are under threat. Now high-profile U.S. corporations are stepping in to help.

The threat comes from unsustainable fishing practices. Rogue vessels use banned equipment, damage breeding grounds and destroy tons and tons of by-catch, marine life that is caught in nets but not desirable in the markets.

Thirty percent of world fisheries are tapped beyond their limits, while another 60 percent are being fished at maximum capacity.

Major U.S. hotel chains, restaurants and supermarkets have responded by requiring that fish they serve be harvested sustainably.

Starwood, Hilton and Hyatt hotels now ban shark fin soup from their menus. Growing demand for the dish contributes to the killing of an estimated 100 million sharks each year. The U.S. has banned finning within United States territorial waters, and several U.S. states have completely banned possession of shark fins.

Hundreds of shark fins drying in sun (© AP Images)
Ecuadorian authorities seized hundreds of illegally harvested shark fins in May 2015. (© AP Images)

Hilton and Hyatt hotels now pledge only to buy and serve seafood certified as sustainably caught by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). Fishing companies that follow MSC’s smart-fishing standards can use the group’s label, which promises consumers their meal came from a certified sustainable fishery.

Safeway supermarkets and CVS pharmacies are among the major retailers who’ve signed on to MSC standards. And the biggest fish in the global retail ocean, Walmart, is also on board.

You can help. Look for and choose seafood packaged with sustainability certification and patronize businesses that do the same. Learn more about sustainable fishing practices through the U.S. government information source, Somewhere a school of fish will thank you.