Annual US report on fish stocks brings good news –

Annual US report on fish stocks brings good news Published:  06 May, 2013

THE 2012 Annual Report to Congress on the Status of US fish stocks points to the rebuilding of a number of valuable American species.

The report highlights the progress that collectively NOAA Fisheries, the regional fishery management councils and stakeholders have made to end overfishing and rebuild stocks. The report documents additional progress towards long-term economic sustainability of the nation’s fisheries. Recent economic data illustrates that the overall seafood industry and recreational fishing continue to generate significant sales impacts and income impacts, while also supporting jobs.

In 2012, as a result of the science-based management of US fisheries says the NOAA, the status of the nation’s marine fish stocks continues to improve. In general, in 2012, the overall percentage of stocks not listed on the overfishing or overfished lists increased:

•Ten stocks were removed from the overfishing list.

•Four stocks were removed from the overfished list.

In addition, six stocks were declared rebuilt in 2012—bringing the total number of rebuilt stocks to 32 since 2000.

Looking to the future, the report illustrates that fishery management under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act is working to address past overfishing and scientifically assess the status of stocks. 2012 represents the first year that all federal fisheries operated under annual catch limits designed to end and prevent overfishing.

In the future, NOAA expects the number of stocks on the overfishing list—now at an all-time low—to decrease further as a result of management under annual catch limits.

To build on this success, however, NOAA emphasises that it needs to ensure the timely collection of data, develop more robust and frequent stock assessments, better assess the economic consequences of management actions, and improve understanding of environmental factors, including climate change, that impact fishery resources.