May 3 2013

NOAA issues status of stocks report; overfishing continues to decline in US

Seafood News



SEAFOOD.COM NEWS  by John Sackton May 2, 2013

NOAA released its 2012 status of the stocks report to Congress this morning, showing continued progress in eliminating overfishing and rebuilding stocks in the U.S.

Overfishing declined 30% between 2011 and 2012.  In 2011, 14% of the stocks where NOAA has data were being overfished.  In 2012, that percentage dropped to 10%.

Once overfishing is ended, a stock will typically recover to its MSY biomass.  Stocks are classified as overfished when they are below the level needed to sustain harvests at the Maximum sustainable yield level.  The number of stocks classified as overfished dropped from 21% to 19%, a decline of 10%.

Acting Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries Sam Rauch said “It was another record-setting year for  our marine fisheries. Today, we are reporting that six more stocks were declared rebuilt in 2012, bringing the total number of stocks rebuilt since 2000 to 32. This year’s rebuilt stocks include Southern Tanner crab, Acadian redfish, windowpane, yellowtail flounder, coho salmon, and pink shrimp. ”

“In addition, overfishing is at an all-time low with 10 additional stocks removed from the overfishing list since last year.  The details behind these record-setting trends are included in NOAA Fisheries’ new 2012 Report on the Status of U.S. Fisheries which is available online.

He also noted “It is critical that we recognize the sacrifices that have been made and will be made to achieve these gains.”  So far, Congress has been very reluctant to acknowledge that the gains in fisheries sustainability have a price that has been borne almost exclusively by the seafood industry.



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