New Report Highlights Continued Comeback of U.S. Fisheries

Congress must safeguard this bipartisan success story

May 17, 2018
Matthew Smelser, (202) 572-3272,

(WASHINGTON – May 17, 2018) Today’s annual Status of U.S. Fisheries report from the National Marine Fisheries Service is yet another reminder that the bipartisan Magnuson-Stevens Act has underpinned a transformation of U.S. fisheries that has made them a global model of success. Over the last year, three more stocks returned to health, bringing the total to 44 stocks declared “rebuilt” since 2000. According to the report, the number of overfished stocks continues to decline and 91 percent of fish populations are no longer subject to overfishing. 

The three newly rebuilt stocks highlighted in this report are part of the West Coast Groundfish fishery, where fishermen were able to increase their catch by 50% last year thanks to the comeback of these and other once depleted species. 

The following is a statement from Matt Tinning, Associate Vice President for Environmental Defense Fund’s Oceans program: 

“This report shows what is possible when fishermen, conservationists and managers work together. Through smarter management, the United States has demonstrated that you can bring fisheries back sustainably and profitably. This idea is the hallmark of the bipartisan Magnuson-Stevens Act and exactly why we must keep it strong. 

“Congress should take note of these successes as it considers proposed legislation that could undermine our progress. While there is still work to do so that all fishing communities are benefiting from sustainable and effective management, today’s report is yet another reminder that we have the federal fisheries law we need to succeed.”

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