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Proactive Conservation Program: Species of Concern

Species of Concern List | Contacts | Grant Program | Grants and Technical Resources/Links

Species of Concern are those species about which we have some concerns regarding status and threats, but for which insufficient information is available to indicate a need to list the species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We wish to draw proactive attention and conservation action to these species. "Species of concern" status does not carry any procedural or substantive protections under the ESA.


Funding for projects led by state and territory management agencies is available through our Proactive Species Conservation Grant Program.

Additional funding for NOAA biologists working as Principal Investigators on projects implementing research or conservation measures to improve the status of Species of Concern is available through our Internal Grant Program.


Species of Concern List

The Species of Concern list:

Fact sheets for each species are provided on the links below. A separate list of species removed from the SOC list is also available on our website. Note: Species of concern can also be "candidate species".

Species Candidate Area of Concern

Gulf of Mexico-AL, FL, anadromous


Atlantic-Newfoundland to North Carolina
(Not warranted for listing 12-month finding, Aug 2013, 78 FR 48943)


Western Atlantic, Eastern Atlantic, and Mediterranean stocks


Atlantic-Labrador to southern New England


Atlantic-Georges Bank and western Gulf of Maine
(former "candidate species" - 2009)


Pacific-Eastern North Pacific population


Atlantic-Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, to St. John's River, FL
(Not warranted for listing 12-month finding, Aug 2013, 78 FR 48943)


Pacific-Southern DPS (Northern CA to Mexico)*


Indo-Pacific-Red Sea and East Africa to the Line Islands and Samoa; north to Yaeyama, south to the Great Barrier Reef and New Caledonia; Paulau, Caroline, Mariana in Micronesia; in U.S. it occurs in Guam, American Samoa, CNMI and the Pacific Remote Island Areas (Wake Islands)


Pacific-Central Valley, fall and late fall-run ESU


Pacific-Puget Sound/Strait of Georgia ESU; anadromous.


Pacific-Central OR to central Baja California and Guadalupe Island, Mexico

  • cusk
    (Brosme brosme)
candidate species checkmark

Atlantic-Gulf of Maine
(Candidate species as of 03/09/2007 [pdf]; 72 FR 10710)


Atlantic; Gulf of Mexico; Pacific


Pacific- Point Concepcion, CA to Bahia de Magdalena, Gulf of CA, Mexico


Pacific-northern DPS* (including coastal spawning populations from the Eel River north, to the Klamath rivers); anadromous


Pacific- Hawaii (Kaneohe Bay, Midway Atoll, Maro Reef)
(Not warranted for listing 12-month finding, Sept 2014, 79 FR 53852)


Indo-Pacific-Red Sea to the Tuamotus, north to the Ryukyus, east to Wake Islands, south to New Caledonia, throughout Micronesia; includes U.S. territories of Guam and American Samoa
(Not warranted for listing 12-month finding, Sept 2014, 79 FR 57875)


Pacific- Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay


Atlantic- West Indies, Bermuda, NC, FL, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean


Atlantic-Florida Keys


Atlantic-FL, estuarine


Atlantic-NC southward to Gulf of Mexico
(Proposed for listing, Sept 2014, 79 FR 51929)


Atlantic-Florida (Indian River Lagoon)


Salish Sea population, WA, Canada


Pacific-Georgia Basin DPS


Pacific- Point Concepcion, CA to Bahia de Tortuga, Gulf of CA, Mexico


Pacific- Sitka Island, Alaska to Baja California, Mexico


Atlantic, Newfoundland, Canada to New Jersey


Atlantic-Labrador to NJ; anadromous


North Pacific Ocean and adjacent parts of the Arctic Ocean*


Atlantic; Gulf of Mexico


Atlantic-NC to Gulf of Mexico
(Negative 90-day finding for ESA-Listing; 77 FR 25687)


Pacific-OR Coast ESU; anadromous


Atlantic-FL, Antilles and Caribbean from Costa Rica to Guyana


Atlantic-West Greenland to NY


Atlantic-MA southward to Gulf of Mexico
(Negative 90-Day Finding of Petition to List Warsaw Grouper; 75 FR 59690)

* NMFS reviewed the status of this species as a result of a petition to list it under the Endangered Species Act. While ESA listing was determined to not be warranted, NMFS retained this species on the Species of Concern list.

Updated: February 4, 2015