Mid-Atlantic Ocean Conservation

Mid-Atlantic region ocean ecosystems support 12 species of fish.

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.

Our Work

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  • We Can Do More to Reduce Wasted Catch, and Congress Can Help

    If fishermen had their way, the only thing on their hooks or in their nets would be what they were trying to catch: the target fish. But fishing is rarely that simple. Different kinds of fish swim together, and anyone who’s ever heard of dolphin-safe tuna knows that sometimes fishing can capture other species, such as marine mammals and birds. Read More

  • The Bottom Line

    Lee Crockett's “Overfishing 101” blog provided an authoritative primer on federal fisheries policy. It also spotlighted historic milestones and celebrated success stories. His new series, “The Bottom Line,” will continue to explore fisheries management issues, while taking on other related subjects to provide a more in-depth look at the issues facing our ocean fish. With this blog, we hope... Read More

  • Deep-Sea Corals Win Historic Protection

    Federal fisheries officials in the Mid-Atlantic voted on June 10 to create the largest protected area in U.S. Atlantic waters, a roughly 38,000 square-mile region where scientists have found an abundance of deep-sea corals. For comparison, that's almost the size of the state of Virginia. Read More

Media Contact

Jeff Young

Officer, Communications