The dismantling of the Soviet Union and the corresponding independence of the Central Asian states in the early 1990s had severe economic consequences for the Central Asian Region. The transition from command to free-market economies was (and sometimes still is) accompanied by dramatic contractions in production in virtually all primary resource sectors. However, arguably the most catastrophic and ongoing declines in output were to be found in the fisheries sector. This study shows how a combination of ecological (most notably the introduction of alien invasive species and pollution), economic (increasing abstraction of water for irrigation and power generating purposes), social (increased impoverishment following the removal of employment guarantees) and governance (collapse of local management structures, decrease of support to the sector and deterioration of trade relationships with neighbouring countries) affected fisheries production and consumption in the Central Asian transition economies. In the light of these findings, some general observations as how this decline might be arrested or reversed are provided.