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.

Recent Work

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  • 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... Read More

  • Important Facts About the 'Most Important Fish in the Sea'

    In May, I had the pleasure of sharing good news about Atlantic menhaden, the forage fish that feeds so many other animals that some call it “the most important fish in the sea.” The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission had data on the first coast-wide catch limit on menhaden, and the numbers showed that the catch limit was working to leave hundreds of millions more menhaden in the water. I... Read More

  • Bottom Trawls Create Deserts in the Deep Sea

    We already knew that bottom trawl fishing—in which large, heavy nets are dragged along the ocean floor—was damaging to ocean life and marine ecosystems. Numerous studies have shown that trawling damages fragile marine habitats and harms many species because the nets indiscriminately scoop up all animals in their path. But new research shows this type of fishing can have... Read More

Take Action: Hold Industrial Fishing Fleets Accountable in the Northeast Atlantic!

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Media Contact

Jeff Young

Officer, Communications

617.728.0300