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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  • Fate of ‘Most Important Fish in the Sea’ Hangs on Commission Decision

    In just a few months, fishery managers along the U.S. East Coast will make a major decision that will determine the long-term future of one of the region’s most vital species—and the state of the larger Atlantic Ocean ecosystem it powers. Atlantic menhaden, which some fisheries experts call “the most important fish in the sea,” are at the center of the debate—and the... Read More

  • Mid-Atlantic Forage Fish

    Forage fish, the small, often schooling species that support the marine food web, are now protected from unsustainable fishing along the U.S. Atlantic coast. Here are a just a few of the species safeguarded and the marine predators that depend on them. Read More

  • Big Investment in Little Fish in the Mid-Atlantic

    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)... Read More

Media Contact

Christine Fletcher

Officer, Communications