Many deep-sea fisheries share characteristics that distinguish them from other fisheries in a way which heightens sustainability and biodiversity concerns. Due to their depth of operation, many deep-sea fisheries occur in areas where the current international law of the sea gives coastal states no jurisdiction to regulate fisheries unilaterally. Whereas many international fisheries currently suffer from unregulated fishing under irresponsible flags of convenience, the concerns on deep-sea fisheries relate first of all to the absence of (international) regulation. The approach advocated in this article would be one where complementary action is taken simultaneously at the global, regional and national levels. As there may not be enough time for conceptually sound and holistic but incremental processes for regime building, the focus should first of all be on flexible short-term action.