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 WorkView All
Every spring, as part of an annual migration, river herring and shad on the East Coast leave the ocean and run up rivers to spawn. At sea, river herring and shad are food for valuable commercial species, including tuna and cod, as well as whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals. And in rivers, their spawning runs attract not only eagles, osprey, and striped bass but also recreational anglers. Read More
Last week was big for menhaden, a forage fish that is prey for many wildlife species and is the focus of the East Coast’s largest fishing operation. On Nov. 13 and 14, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Menhaden Management Board met in Linthicum, Maryland to set catch limits and other policies for this critical species. The result was a mixed bag that shows some promise... Read More
On Nov. 13, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission will take its most important vote yet on how to manage menhaden, which are fished commercially and also support tourism, recreational fishing, and coastal businesses by serving as a key prey species for many predators. Three people who care about menhaden spoke with The Pew Charitable Trusts about what this forage fish means to them.... Read More
Reasons major U.S. fishing law should shift to big picture management