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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In October, Ellen Pikitch, former chair of the Lenfest Forage Fish Task Force, submitted a letter on behalf of more than 100 scientists to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission in support of managing menhaden, a forage fish, from an ecosystem perspective. The public comment period is open through Oct. 24, and the commission will make its decision Nov. 13. Read More
Atlantic menhaden play an essential role in marine ecosystems and businesses along the U.S. East Coast. Now, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, which sets fishing rules for menhaden along the Eastern Seaboard, is considering how to protect and increase their economic and ecological value. Read More
Squid, best known as calamari, are optional eating for humans. But these nimble cephalopods are a critical food source for many predators, from summer flounder, bluefish, tuna, and striped bass to whales, seabirds, sharks, and dolphins. And it’s these species—and the fishermen, anglers, tourists, and seafood consumers who enjoy them—who pay the price when too many squid are... Read More
Reasons major U.S. fishing law should shift to big picture management