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.
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At its Oct. 5 meeting, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council will vote on whether to develop a management plan for alewife, blueback herring, American shad, and hickory shad—collectively known as river herring and shad—in federal waters. Read More
At its Aug. 3 meeting, the Menhaden Management Board of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASFMC) will decide how much menhaden fishermen will be allowed to catch along the East Coast in 2017. If managers increase the catch limit, hundreds of millions more menhaden—often called “the most important fish in the sea” because of their role as food for... Read More
Forage fish species, such as sand lance and copepod, form the foundation of the ocean’s food web, providing food for larger fish, seabirds, and marine mammals. However, many of these vital fish are at risk from unregulated fishing. Now the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council has proposed to take action to protect forage fish and the marine ecosystem that depends on them. Read More
Reasons major U.S. fishing law should shift to big picture management