The Gulf of Mexico is an environmental and economic treasure.
ocean health in the gulf of mexico
Preserving the natural diversity of ocean ecosystems will help ensure abundant fish, bountiful seafood, and recreational opportunities for generations to come.
The Gulf of Mexico is an environmental and economic treasure. Within its 600,000 square miles lie natural wonders and habitats ranging from an underwater Grand Canyon 12,000 feet deep to coral reefs and one of the largest contiguous seagrass beds in the Northern Hemisphere. As the world’s ninth-largest body of water, the Gulf is also an economic engine that supports millions of people and jobs.
The extent of damage caused by the 2010 oil spill remains unknown. But the disaster lends urgency to protecting the Gulf’s resources, including its diverse bounty of fish. Major progress has been achieved toward ending and preventing overfishing through federally required science-based annual catch limits. We must build on that success by ensuring depleted species recover to healthy levels, protecting habitat where fish live and spawn, safeguarding marine food webs, implementing policies to address the impacts of climate change on fish populations, and reducing unintentional catch of fish and other marine species by fishermen pursuing other targets. Too often, these animals are thrown back and do not survive.
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On June 15, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources passed, by a 24-14 vote, a bill (H.R. 3094) that would significantly weaken conservation and management of American red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico. Pew, along with hundreds of commercial fishermen, charter captains, seafood industry businesses, and conservation groups, oppose this ill-conceived bill. Read More
On June 14, Pew submitted a letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Natural Resources asking them to oppose H.R. 3094. By removing American red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico from the regionally based, stakeholder-driven management system established under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the bill would put the ongoing recovery of the population at risk. It would also... Read More
Once unreachable in the darkest depths, flourishing coral reefs in the Gulf of Mexico are now getting attention as scientists map their locations and unravel the mysteries of these ancient but fragile ocean jewels. Read More
Reasons major U.S. fishing law should shift to big picture management