15 May 2012:
Record Number of Fish Stocks
‘Rebuilt’ in 2011, NOAA Study Says
U.S. officials say a record number of fish stocks recovered to healthy population numbers
in 2011 while a declining number of species were subject to overfishing. In a report
to Congress, the U.S. National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) declared that six species have been “rebuilt,” including the Bering Sea snow crab, the summer flounder found on the mid-Atlantic coast, the haddock in the Gulf of Maine, the Chinook salmon on the northern California coast, the Coho salmon on the Washington coast, and the Widow rockfish on the Pacific coast. Meanwhile, the number of stocks subject to overfishing decreased by four, and overfished stocks declined by three compared with the 2010 report. Samuel D. Rauch III, deputy assistant administrator for regulatory programs for NOAA’s fisheries service, said the findings underscore the fact that fisheries management — including sometimes unpopular catch limits — has been effective. The results “clearly demonstrate we are actively turning the corner on ending overfishing and rebuilding our nation’s fisheries,” Rauch wrote in an introduction to the report. Under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, NOAA must prepare annual reports on the health of fish stocks within 200 miles of the coast and depleted stocks must be rebuilt.