Overfishing in U.S. Waters Hits All-Time Low

Annual report points to strong gains under sustainable fisheries management

April 15, 2015
Matt Smelser, (202) 572-3272, msmelser@edf.org

(WASHINGTON – April 15, 2015) The annual Status of U.S. Fisheries report from the National Marine Fisheries Service was released today—once again indicating positive progress for many U.S. fisheries. In 2014, six stocks came off the overfishing list and two stocks are no longer listed as overfished. The number of rebuilt fisheries is continuing to grow and the number of stocks overfished or subject to overfishing are at an all-time low.

“Today’s report shows what is possible when fishermen, conservationists and managers come together to chart a new course. The United States has become a global leader in sustainable fisheries management—bolstered by the strong legal framework of the bipartisan Magnuson-Stevens Act.

“Challenges remain in some U.S. fisheries, and too many coastal communities are still dealing with the damaging legacy of overfishing. But today’s report makes clear that we as a nation have turned the corner. Strong fisheries management policies grounded in science have led to more fish in U.S. waters, more stable coastal small-businesses, and more wild-caught seafood for the American public to enjoy. It’s a model of success that we must sustain here at home, and which should be an inspiration to those struggling to combat the specter of overfishing around the world.”

-Matt Tinning, Senior Director, U.S. Oceans Program 

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