Four fishery stocks have been rebuilt to healthy levels.
[social_buttons]The Atlantic scup, Atlantic black sea bass, and St. Matthew’s Island, Alaska, blue king crab and Atlantic swordfish, have all been rebuilt to healthy levels, and the report shows a continuing year-over-year improvement across the US.
A lot of the time we focus on the big stories: the climate change and deforestation and oil spill stories, without remembering that there are a hundred smaller stories that are ignored because they aren’t as sexy.
This is one of those stories, but one that isn’t any less important than the big name issues you’ll always hear about.
“By working with our regional fishery councils and commercial and recreational fishermen, we are getting closer every year to ending overfishing in our waters,” said Eric Schwaab, NOAA assistant administrator for NOAA’s Fisheries Service. “With annual catch limits coming into effect this year, we expect our progress to accelerate.”
The NOAA released their report, Status of U.S. Fisheries, reporting that 85% of the stocks examined, or 212 species out of 250, were free from overfishing or not fished at too high a level. Four more species – Winter skate and sailfish in the Atlantic, and bocaccio and darkblotched rockfish in the Pacific – had overfished populations in 2008 but began rebuilding in 2009.
Under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, NOAA and the eight regional fishery management councils are required to end overfishing and prevent future overfishing through annual catch limits and accountability measures. Annual catch limits are required to be put in place by 2010 for stocks with unsustainable fishing, and by 2011 for all stocks.
For more data and analysis check out the full report here.
Image Source: dmstraton