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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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
In 2012 and 2013, sea temperatures along the New England coast spiked, shattering records that stretch back a century and a half. As the waters warmed, fishermen hauled in some unexpected catch, including species that are normally found far to the south. Read More
What places are important to ocean fish? Spawning grounds, where fish reproduce, and nursery grounds, where baby fish find shelter, might come to mind first. Anyone who has thought about where to drop a baited hook also knows that fish go to certain spots to eat. Read More
Reasons major U.S. fishing law should shift to big picture management