U.S. Fisheries Continue Comeback: Reports Show Economic and Conservation Gains
Smart Management, Science-Based Policies Contribute to Progress
(WASHINGTON – Dec. 13, 2018) Reports released today by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) show that the U.S. is rebuilding once depleted fisheries and reducing overfishing while at the same time adding jobs, increasing landings, and boosting revenues in the fishing sector. The “Fisheries Economics of the United States” and “Fisheries of the United States” reports from NOAA provide new and important insights into the conservation and economic comebacks of our nation’s fisheries.
The following is a statement from Matt Tinning, Associate Vice President, EDF Oceans Program:
“The comeback of U.S. fisheries is one of the great conservation success stories of our time. These new reports from NOAA further illustrate why U.S. fisheries have become a global model of success. We have rebuilt 45 once depleted fish stocks and dramatically reduced overfishing, all while continuing to increase catch, jobs, and revenue for the recreational and commercial fishermen.
“At a time when science and environmental protections are under attack, these reports are a powerful reminder that when conservationists, industry, and regulators work together, great things can be achieved. And when sound science is coupled with market incentives, people and nature can prosper together. Along our coasts there are countless stories of fisheries once on the brink of collapse that are now thriving thanks to partnerships and innovations that required the collective effort of all who care about our nation’s fisheries.
“These results are also a testament to the smart, science-based laws and policies that bipartisan majorities in Congress and successive administrations have prioritized. Our national fisheries law, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, should now be recognized as one of the most successful conservation statutes ever enacted. As the 116th Congress looks to a potential reauthorization, today’s reports are yet another reminder that the primary responsibility of lawmakers in any reauthorization process is to retain the core conservation provisions of the statute that are fueling our progress.
“We still have work to do. We need to ensure that rebounding fisheries on the West Coast find space in seafood counters as fishermen increase their sustainable harvest. In New England, we need to overhaul outdated and underperforming monitoring programs that have eroded confidence and left many communities struggling. And we need continued progress in regions like the Gulf of Mexico to improve cooperation between state and federal regulators in the management of recreational fishing. But these remaining challenges should not obscure the national picture of progress, and today we applaud the fishermen, policymakers, managers, conservationists and other stakeholders who have driven this remarkable turnaround.”
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