Status of (Fish) Stocks, 2015–NOAA


NOAA has published their annual report on the status of fish stocks for 2015 (pdf), and the news is generally good. The number of stocks “Over Fished” or subject to “Over Fishing” remain near all time lows. Some highlights:

  • Of 313 stocks with known status, nine percent are subject to overfishing (e.g. the harvest rate is too high).
  • Of 233 stocks with known status, 16 percent are over fished (e.g. the population is too small).
  • The number of stocks rebuilt to maximum sustainable yield since 2000 increased from 37 to 39 over the last year. Two Pacific coast groundfish stocks, canary rockfish and petrale sole have been found to have been rebuilt.
  • Forty-four stocks and stock complexes are currently under rebuilding plans.

The report is only seven pages and very readable with well done charts and graphics.

The report refers to their partners, but we know the Coast Guard should get a great deal of credit for making this success happen.

Still, US efforts have limits. “More than half of the stocks added to the overfishing list in 2015 were international stocks,” subject to fishing outside US jurisdiction.

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