sunset over the water with reeds and bushes in the foreground

Project

Mid-Atlantic Ocean Conservation

Ocean Health in the Mid-Atlantic Region

The highly productive coastal and ocean ecosystems of the Mid-Atlantic region benefit from major estuaries of the Hudson and Delaware rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. These ecosystems support 12 species of fish managed by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Fishery Management Council. These fish, sought by more than 4.7 million recreational fishermen, also support a healthy commercial fishing industry that sustains the economies and quality of life in coastal towns. 

In 2006, the commercial fishing sector and related businesses contributed billions of dollars to the U.S. economy and approximately 160,000 jobs.

Many of the Mid-Atlantic’s depleted populations are making progress under critical rebuilding plans, and managers need to stay the course. Sustainable populations of fish in the Mid-Atlantic region will result in healthier coastal and ocean ecosystems for the benefit of everyone. These fish populations will support and enhance the commercial and recreational fisheries in the region, creating stability and guaranteeing the long-term success of coastal communities.

Pew led a campaign to help ensure that federal fishery managers in the Mid-Atlantic end overfishing and rebuild depleted fish populations. In addition, Pew leads similar campaigns in New England, the South Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. Read more about our federal fisheries policy work.

Menhaden
Menhaden
Article

Support Pours In for Conserving Menhaden

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Article

Members of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, which sets rules for fishing in state waters along the Eastern Seaboard, will gather Nov. 13 to vote on how to manage menhaden, one of the Atlantic Ocean’s most important prey fish. In the waters off the East Coast, Atlantic menhaden feeds nearly every commercial and recreational species of fish, as well as marine mammals such as humpback whales and dolphins and many at-risk seabirds, including ospreys, bald eagles, and common loons.

Forage Fish
Forage Fish
Article

Big Investment in Little Fish

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Forage fish, the small species that support the marine food web, won new safeguards along the U.S. Atlantic coast on Friday. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) announced a final rule directing fishery managers to create science-based measures, such as catch limits, before fishing can begin in federal waters (from 3 to 200 miles offshore) on more than 50 species not already targeted by commercial fishermen. The rule will also help ensure a steady supply of forage fish for the many predators that feed on them, such as striped bass, bald eagles, and humpback whales, and increase security for businesses that depend on healthy ocean systems. 

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