This Just In
|•||NOAA Fisheries releases Status of U.S. Fisheries 2013|
|•||NOAA Fisheries releases the Fish Stock Sustainability Index - 1st Quarter 2014 report|
Recent Stock Status Changes
|STATUS||2012 (%)||2013 (%)|
|No Overfishing||255 (90%)||272 (91%)|
|Overfishing||29 (10%)||28 (9%)|
|Not Overfished||178 (81%)||190 (83%)|
|Overfished||41 (19%)||40 (17%)|
Status of U.S. Fisheries
Since 1996, NOAA Fisheries has reported on the status of U.S. fisheries, as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Reporting on the status of fish stocks provides fisheries managers and the public with an account of how well current fisheries management measures are working. A scientific analysis of the abundance and composition of a fish stock (stock assessment) evaluates the stock against reference points. Stock assessments use the best information available, which may include data from fisheries landings, scientific surveys, and biological studies. NOAA Fisheries uses the stock assessment and reference points to determine whether the stock is subject to overfishing or overfished. Information from the stock assessment is used by the regional fishery management council to recommend the annual catch limit for the stock.
NOAA Fisheries’ Office of Sustainable Fisheries updates the status of fish stocks managed under federal fishery management plans quarterly based on stock assessments completed during that quarter. Stock status definitions include:
- Subject to Overfishing – A stock with a fishing mortality (harvest) rate that is higher than the rate that produces maximum sustainable yield (MSY)—the largest long-term average catch that can be taken from a stock under prevailing environmental and fishery conditions.
- Overfished – A stock with a biomass level depleted to a degree that the stock's capacity to produce MSY is jeopardized.
- Rebuilt – A previously overfished stock has increased in abundance to the target level that supports MSY.
These data also help NOAA Fisheries calculate its Fish Stock Sustainability Index (FSSI), which measures the performance of U.S. fish stocks selected for their importance to commercial and recreational fisheries.
Explore the links below to learn more about the status of U.S. fisheries and the FSSI:
- Fish Stock Sustainability Index
- Stock Status Updates
- Stock Status Archive
- Status Determinations
- Rebuilding Plans
For more information, contact the Office of Sustainable Fisheries.