American plaice Photo: NOAAAmerican plaice Photo: NOAA

Two announcements from NOAA Fisheries offer a ‘snapshot in time’ of the population status of US federal fisheries in 2019, and the economic performance of commercial fishing, recreational fishing, and related businesses in 2017.

The 2019 Status of US Fisheries Report examines which of the 461 managed stocks or stock complexes are subject to overfishing, are overfished or are rebuilt to sustainable levels. Scientists have found that the vast majority of stocks are currently achieving long-term sustainability goals.

Also available is key economic data from the 2017 Fisheries Economics of the US Report which provides an update on the economic performance of fisheries and show that fishing is a positive economic driver with commercial and recreational fishing generating US$244 billion in annual sales.

“It’s important we acknowledge the achievements in sustainable fisheries made in recent years by fishermen, industries, scientists, managers, and conservationists across our nation,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

“To that end, President Trump has announced the availability of US$300 million to support US fishing communities that have been particularly hard hit by Covid-19,” he added.

Of 321 stocks for which a determination can be made, 299 (93%) are not subject to overfishing. The list of overfished species grew slightly with one removed species and four newly added.

Additionally, two once-overfished species have been rebuilt. Those stocks include American plaice and Southern California cowcod. This brings the number of rebuilt stocks to 47 since the year 2000.

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