Conservation Works: NOAA Declares Four US Fish Stocks Rebuilt to Healthy Levels

swordfish auction photo

Atlantic swordfish are among those... photo: José Antonio Gil Martínez via flickr.

Here's an example of how a modicum of restraint and forward thinking can bring conservation success: NOAA's 2009 Status of US Fisheries report shows that four fisheries stocks have now been rebuilt to healthy levels after years of overfishing, and that for the first time since 1997 no new stocks were added to the list.Those four fish stocks include: The Atlantic swordfish, Atlantic scup, Atlantic sea bass, and St Matthew's Island (Alaska) blue king crab. Additionally, four fish stocks which had been overfished in 2008 began rebuilding in 2009: In the Atlantic, winter skate and sailfish; in the Pacific, bocaccio and darkblotched rockfish. Overall, 85% of fish stocks examined were found free from overfishing.

In touting the report, NOAA's Eric Schwaab said, "By working with our regional fishery councils and commercial and recreational fishermen, we are getting closer every year to ending overfishing in our waters. With annual catch limits coming into effect this year, we expect our progress to accelerate."

Bringing it back to the consumer level, if you don't already do so, make sure the fish you buy is caught at sustainable levels and with sustainable methods by checking out a sustainable seafood watch card (or app), such as the one by Monterey Bay Aquarium.

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More on Overfishing:
Overfishing Means Marine Animals Are Starving
Overfishing is Slowing, But Only in Areas With Good Fisheries Management
Eco-Myth: Humans Have Only Been Overfishing the World's Oceans in Modern Times
Mitsubishi Hopes to Profit From Bluefin Tuna Decline

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