Pew Environment Rejects Assessment that US Fisheries Are No Longer Overfished
The United States has the largest Exclusive Economic
Zone (EEZ) in the world, containing 3.4 million square miles of ocean
and 90,000 miles
of coastline. Throughout this vast underwater realm, fish
play an essential role in the interconnected web of life on
which we depend.
In fact, they are one of America's
most valuable natural resources, adding billions to the U.S.
and supporting millions of jobs through fishing and recreation.
Unfortunately, overfishing -- taking fish from our oceans faster than they can reproduce -- has plagued U.S. oceans for decades and continues today. This squanders valuable fish populations and weakens ocean ecosystems, making them more vulnerable to problems like pollution, natural disturbances and climate change.
The good news is that we have a strong law in place in the United States governing how fish are managed in federal waters, and serious efforts are underway to end overfishing and rebuild depleted populations. The Pew Environment Group supports these goals through our work at the federal and regional levels of government, where decisions are made about these invaluable marine resources.
Fishermen, conservationists and scientists have actively debated how best to manage our ocean fish populations for decades. But with so much at stake, it's critical that as many Americans as possible be actively engaged in this discussion. The "Overfishing 101" blog series aims to do just that by providing a new outlet, in which we hope to open up the discussion to the larger public, cut through the rhetoric and encourage more people to participate in marine fish conservation.
October 26, 2014 -- In April 2013, John Bullard, NOAA’s chief northeast regional administrator, first imposed Draconian cuts of up to 78 percent in fishermen’s allowable landings of cod and other groundfish species. And at the time, he called it the fishing industry’s and fishing communities’ “day of reckoning” over stock declines.