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

View All
  • 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

    The research found that the diversity of species in the trawled areas was cut in half, and overall abundance of the small life forms in the sediment dropped by 80 percent. The trawled areas also had only about half as much organic matter in the sediment compared to the control areas. Read More

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

Sign Now

Media Contact

Jeff Young

Officer, Communications

617.728.0300