What’s the Catch? provides players with the opportunity to experience the perils of conventional fisheries management and the benefits of sustainable fishing practices. The game, flexible in nature, allows players to choose their preferred game pieces—toys, candy or whatever is available—to act as target species, bycatch, fishing gear and habitat. Players participate through several rounds of the game, with each round representing a fishing season. They try out different management approaches such as no-take areas, catch limits, trip limits, Territorial Use Rights for Fishing (TURFs) and catch shares, ultimately deciding which strategy works best for their fishery.
Created with varying situations and audiences in mind, the game has been played by thousands of people internationally including fishery managers, fishermen, NGOs, policy makers, scientists, government officials, and school children.