NOAA Releases 2015 Status of Fisheries Report

Photo, Tommy Costello
Photo, Tommy Costello

The National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Administration has released its 2015 Status of U.S. Fisheries report to Congress.

Highlights include:

The following 8 stocks were removed from the “overfishing” list (see definition below):

  • greater amberjack in the Gulf of Mexico
  • gray triggerfish in the Gulf of Mexico
  • hogfish in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico
  • thorny skate in the Gulf of Maine
  • winter skate in Georges Bank/Southern New England
  • windowpane flounder in the Gulf of Maine/Georges Bank
  • Puerto Rico scups and porgies complex (similar species that occur in the same area)
  • Puerto Rico wrasses complex

In addition, 2 stocks are no longer listed as overfished—blueline tilefish in the South Atlantic and canary rockfish along the Pacific Coast.

A stock is on the overfishing list when the annual catch rate is too high. A stock is on the overfished list when the population size of a stock is too low, whether because of fishing or other causes, such as environmental changes.

The report also found that 2 fish stocks—canary rockfish and petrale sole, both on the Pacific Coast—were rebuilt to target levels in 2015. That brings the total number of rebuilt U.S. marine fish stocks to 39 since 2000.

Read the entire 2015 Status of Stocks report: