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Status of Stocks 2013

A researcher with a black sea bass. The Southern Atlantic Coast stock of black sea bass was declared rebuilt in 2013. Credit: NOAA FIsheries.


Rebuilt—A previously 
overfished stock has increased in abundance to the target level that 
supports its MSY.

2 Rebuilt Stocks in 2013

West Coast Region
Chinook salmon – 
Sacramento River Fall

Southeast Region
Black sea bass – 
Southern Atlantic Coast



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.


April 29, 2014

Annual Report to Congress on the Status of U.S.

The 2013 Annual Report on the Status of U.S. Fisheries highlights the continued progress that collectively, NOAA Fisheries, the regional fishery management councils, and our stakeholders have made to end overfishing and rebuild stocks. Released in conjunction with Fisheries Economics of the U.S. 2012, Status of U.S. Fisheries 2013 documents additional progress towards long-term economic sustainability of our nation’s fish stocks. This progress demonstrates the strength of the U.S. science-based management model under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and management Act (MSA) and the importance of ending overfishing as the key to addressing past overfishing problems.

Read more about the release of the Status of U.S. Fisheries 2013 and Fisheries Economics of the U.S. 2012.

About the Report

This annual report provides a ‘snapshot’ in time of the status of U.S. fisheries at the end of 2013.

Highlighting Continued Success

In 2013, as a result of the science-based management of U.S. fisheries, the status of our nation’s marine fish stocks continues to improve. In general, in 2013 we increased the overall percentage of stocks not listed on the overfishing or overfished lists:

In addition, two stocks were declared rebuilt in 2013—bringing the total number of rebuilt stocks to 34 since 2000. The graphic below illustrates the improvements made in 2013.

Summary of Changes

STATUS 2012 (%) 2013 (%)
On the Overfishing List 29 (10%) 28 (9%)
On the Overfished List 41 (19%) 40 (17%)
Total Rebuilt Since 2000 32 34

Looking Ahead

U.S. fisheries play an enormous role in the nation’s economy. When stocks are rebuilt, they provide more economic opportunities for commercial, recreational, and subsistence fishing. Rebuilt stocks also contribute to a healthy ecosystem. To continue our progress in ending overfishing and rebuilding stocks, we must ensure solid, science-based determinations of stock status and better linkages to biological socioeconomic, and ecosystem conditions. It is also increasingly important that we better understand ecosystem and habitat factors, as resilient ecosystems and habitat form the foundation for robust fisheries and fishing jobs. NOAA is investing in efforts to better understand the effects of climate change on fisheries, reduce bycatch, and focus habitat conservation resources where they can have the greatest impact.