Get Email Updates

Stay informed and learn about our action alerts and news sign up

Status of Stocks

Marine Fisheriesi  featured image galleyr

Overfishing is when the rate of removal from a stock is too high. A priority for the U.S. is ending overfishing so that all stocks can rebuild and be sustained at rebuilt levels.


Overfished is when the population is too low, or below a prescribed threshold.  A population can be overfished but be managed under a rebuilding plan that over time returns the population to health. 


The Road to End Overfishing: 35 Years of Magnuson Act

Atlantic Sea ScallopAs we look toward Earth Day next week, I want to acknowledge and highlight the 35 th anniversary of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Simply called “the Magnuson Act”, this law, its regional framework and goal of sustainability, has proven to be a visionary force in natural resource management - both domestically and internationally.

Annual report to Congress on the Status of U.S. Fisheries
In this 35th anniversary year of the Magnuson Stevens Act, the nation’s cornerstone for managing living marine resources, NOAA Fisheries releases the 14th Annual Report to Congress on the Status of the Nation’s Fisheries. This report documents our national journey toward ending overfishing and rebuilding the nation’s fisheries.

News and Announcements

Annual stock report shows steady progress toward rebuilding our nation's fisheries

June 14, 2011:Three fisheries stocks from the Northeast – Georges Bank haddock, Atlantic pollock and spiny dogfish – have now been rebuilt to healthy levels, bringing to 21 the number that have been rebuilt nationwide since 2000, according to a report to Congress from NOAA’s Fisheries Service issued today. Read More . . .

About the Report

Each year since 1997, NOAA Fisheries reports to Congress the number of stocks and complexes that are and are not subject to overfishing, and those that are or are not overfished.  These findings are based on determinations made throughout the reporting year and years prior.  This annual report summarizes the best available science on our stocks to inform the management process to take appropriate action with the goal of ending overfishing and reaching sustainable populations of fish.

Status of Stocks Report
Four-Page Summary
Quarterly and Annual Reports
Domestic Fisheries Division
Press Release

Stocks at a Glance
Overfishing Status
213 stocks (84%) are not subject to overfishing
40 stocks (16%) are subject to overfishing

Overfished Status
159 stocks (77%) are not overfished
48 stocks (23%) are overfished

Related Stories:

"Overfished" isn't just about fishing
Tanner CrabWhen you see the word “overfishing” in the NOAA Fisheries Status of Stocks report to Congress, released this week, it seems only natural to think that fisherman cause overfishing, right?  Although fishing certainly adds significant pressure, stocks  can also become “overfished” for many other reasons—natural mortality, disease, natural population cycles and environmental changes. More…