The 2013 Report on the Status of U.S. Fisheries conducted by NOAA Fisheries presents a bright future for wild U.S. fisheries management. The report highlights the continued progress of ending overfishing and rebuilding the nations oceanic resources. In 2013, seven fish stocks were removed from the overfishing list and two stocks were rebuilt, bringing the new total of rebuilt stocks to 34 since 2000 and still growing.
These are no small feats. It wasn't so long ago that U.S. fish stocks were in peril, many to the point of what was thought of as "no return." Overfishing was occurring at a staggering pace, emptying our natural resources from our surrounding bodies of water and additionally devastating many regional and local communities. Luckily tides have since turned and through science-based management we have a good shot at reversing the once drastic state of our fisheries. It's a simple formula: sustainably manage our fish stocks or lose everything.
Sustainable management includes ending overfishing by setting quotas and fishing guidelines, managing current fisheries, and tracking new fisheries. It's a group effort that includes several cooperating bodies: NOAA Fisheries, Regional Fishery Management Councils, commercial and recreational fishermen, and, importantly, you the consumer. With a concerted effort, U.S. fisheries management can be a beacon for the world, an example of how resources can be properly managed, protected, and enjoyed in a sustainable way. The 2014 full report has not yet been posted, but you can look at the map provided here to see the progress of rebuilt stocks during 2014. It's an exciting time to support domestic seafood. Reports on the healthy qualities of getting more seafood in your diet abound. Recent guidelines from the FDA have been updated to encourage more seafood consumption. Nowhere in the world is more effort being exerted into making the country's seafood not only a healthy option for its diners, but a sustainable one as well.