Salmon fishery. (Photo: NOAA)
US fisheries continue to rebuild thanks to NOAA’s management process
Friday, April 22, 2016, 01:50 (GMT + 9)
As a result of the combined efforts of NOAA Fisheries, the regional fishery management councils, and other stakeholders, in 2015 two stocks were rebuilt and the number of stocks listed as subject to overfishing or overfished remains near an all-time low.
“On the 40th anniversary of the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA), we recognize that our dynamic, science-based management process is proving to be successful at ending overfishing and rebuilding stocks, helping us realize significant benefits to the economy,” NOAA Fisheries stated in its annual report.
NOAA pointed out that based on the assessments carried out at the end of 2015, the findings are the following:
- 28 stocks were on the overfishing list, from which some were removed, such as hogfish (Eastern Gulf of Mexico Puerto Rico Scups & Porgies Complex Puerto Rico Wrasses Complex), thorny skate (Gulf of Maine), winter skate (Georges Bank/ Southern New England), windowpane (Gulf of Maine/Georges Bank), greater amberjack (Gulf of Mexico), gray triggerfish (Gulf of Mexico). Others were added, such as hogfish (Southeast Florida), chinook salmon (Columbia River Basin: Upper River Summer), chinook salmon (Washington Coast: Willapa Bay Fall Natural), chinook salmon (Washington Coast: Grays Harbor Fall), coho salmon (Washington Coast: Hoh), swordfish (Eastern Pacific ), summer flounder, yellowtail flounder (Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic Winter), flounder (Georges Bank) and bigeye tuna (Atlantic).
- 38 stocks were on the overfished list, from which blueline tilefish (South Atlantic) and canary rockfish (Pacific Coast) while others were removed as is the case of hogfifish (Southeast Florida), yellowtail flounder (Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic Winter) and flounder (Georges Bank).
- 39 stocks have been rebuilt since 2000, including canary rockfish (Pacific Coast) and petrale sole (Pacific Coast).
The entity noted that as required by the MSA management framework, all stocks added to the overfishing and overfished lists have management measures being implemented to end overfishing and rebuild.
The report also describes that as of the end of 2015, catch was successfully kept at or below 89 per cent of annual catch limits (ACLs) and that management measures were implemented to address ACLs overages.
During the anlysed period, NOAA Fisheries also released a draft Ecosystem Based Fishery Management Policy, which is intended to clarify the agency’s direction, focus and priorities for managing fisheries in an increasingly complex and changing environment.
Finally, the entity also drafted the National Bycatch Reduction Strategy in recognition of the important role that bycatch plays in managing the nation’s fisheries and conserving protected species.
“We look forward to working with Congress, the councils, our state partners, and other stakeholders to further these efforts and identify other opportunities to strengthen the long-term biological and economic sustainability of our nation’s fisheries,” the report concludes.
Photo Courtesy of FIS Member NOAA/NMFSborrar