Predicting global fisheries is a high–order challenge but predictions have been made and updates are needed. Past forecasts, present trends and perspectives of key parameters of the fisheries—including potential harvest, state of stocks, supply and demand, trade, fishing technology and governance—are reviewed in detail, as the basis for new forecasts and forecasting performance assessment. The future of marine capture fisheries will be conditioned by the political, social and economic evolution of the world within which they operate. Consequently, recent global scenarios for the future world are reviewed, with the emphasis on fisheries. The main driving forces (e.g. global economic development, demography, environment, public awareness, information technology, energy, ethics) including aquaculture are described. Outlooks are provided for each aspect of the fishery sector. The conclusion puts these elements in perspective and offers the authors' personal interpretation of the possible future pathway of fisheries, the uncertainty about it and the still unanswered questions of direct relevance in shaping that future.