close up of black grouper fish

Project

South Atlantic Ocean Conservation

Ocean Health Along the Southern U.S. Coast 

Visit the U.S. South Atlantic coast and you will find fascinating marine ecosystems from estuaries and  coral gardens to deepwater canyons and  shallow tropical waters. These environmental jewels draw divers, anglers, and tourists from around the world expecting healthy waters and abundant fish populations.

Yet threats ranging from overfishing to climate change jeopardize these economic and ecological treasures. Major progress has been achieved toward ending and preventing overfishing through federally required science-based annual catch limits. We must build on that success by ensuring depleted species recover to healthy levels, protecting habitat where fish live and spawn, reducing accidental catch of non-targeted species, and safeguarding marine food webs.

It is time to stop managing marine resources piecemeal but rather embrace a holistic approach that considers the interactions among prey and predator and the important roles played by marine life in larger ecosystems.

 
MDP mangrove shoal Matthew Potenski
MDP mangrove shoal Matthew Potenski
Article

Protecting the Prey

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Article
Article

A Big-Picture Approach to Fisheries Management

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Article

U.S. fishery managers often focus on one species at a time when determining how, when, and where fishing takes place. But each fish population is part of an interconnected ecosystem in which they interact with other fish, ocean wildlife, and habitats.

Stock Assessment Vehicle
Stock Assessment Vehicle
Report

The Law That's Saving American Fisheries

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Report

A generation of determined, farsighted commercial and recreational fishermen, marine scientists, and legislators have shaped the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the law that governs American fisheries.

Underwater Life
Underwater Life
Fact Sheet

Protecting Places Where Underwater Life Begins

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Fact Sheet

At special times each year, certain fish find their way to unique gathering places for a mating ritual that helps determine the survival of their species.

Our Work

AFTER THE FACT
Podcast

What Is the Blue Economy?

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Podcast

Fisheries, tourism, and shipping are some of the ways we quantify the monetary value of the ocean—but it also drives weather patterns and provides more than 1 billion people with their primary source of protein. As the ocean faces increasing environmental stresses, what would an economic approach mean for conservation efforts? We explore the issue with a fishing family in Florida and Pew’s Tom Dillon.

Black seabass
Black Seabass

Magnuson-Stevens Act

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Thanks to the Magnuson-Stevens Act, hard work, and dedication, our nation now benefits from dozens of rebuilt fish populations. The law’s requirements to end overfishing and rebuild fish populations are working. Since 2000 alone, 36 once-depleted fish populations have been rebuilt to healthy levels. But several new threats could undermine these historic accomplishments.