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21 Sep 2012: U.S. Fishing Catch Reached
17-Year High in 2011, NOAA Says

U.S. commercial fishermen landed more than 10.1 billion pounds of fish and shellfish in 2011, a 17-year high attributed in part to policies aimed at rebuilding fisheries nationwide, according to a report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The annual catch was 22.6 percent greater than 2010 and, with a value of $5.3 billion, a 17-percent increase in value compared with a year earlier. Officials say catch increases are evidence that fish populations are increasing thanks to better fisheries management. While all nine of NOAA’s fishing regions saw an increase in volume and value of their catches, much of the overall increase was a result of increased catches of Gulf of Mexico menhaden, Alaskan pollock, and Pacific hake. NOAA said that key fisheries remain at risk, with disasters declared for the cod fishery in New England, oyster and blue crab fisheries in Mississippi, and Chinook salmon in Alaska’s Yukon and Kukokwin rivers. “Overall nationally, the numbers are very good news,” Sam Rauch, deputy assistant administrator for NOAA’s Fisheries Service, told the Washington Post. “But we don’t want to miss the fact that there are parts of the industry that are or soon will be suffering economic pain.”

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