The concept of ‘wellbeing’ is increasingly visible in a range of public policy and debate. This paper gives an overview of how wellbeing has influenced policy in the domains of health and international development, and draws from these insights to suggest the relevance and contribution of wellbeing to sustainable fisheries. The paper describes the concept of eudaimonic wellbeing, which entails more than income, and happiness, but the living of, and flourishing in, a life that is valued and deemed worthwhile. A 3-dimensional framework for wellbeing which gives attention to material, social and subjective wellbeing dimensions is also discussed. It is argued that this multi-dimensional framing of wellbeing could contribute to sustainable fisheries in two ways: first, by providing a deeper form of social impact assessment, in particular in terms of capturing social and subjective impacts of fisheries decline. Second, it may give new insights into fisher behaviour, if behaviour can be understood in terms of the pursuit of wellbeing and a valued way of living.