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A Big-Picture Approach to Fisheries Management

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. Fish are also directly affected by changing environments and human activities. Threats such as ocean acidification, warming waters, overfishing, and habitat destruction can damage ecosystems and cause ripple effects, such as the decline of important fish populations.

To manage fish more effectively and sustainably, policymakers must look at the bigger picture. Congress is considering how to update the primary law that governs management of U.S. ocean fish. It should modify the law to advance a broader, more comprehensive approach to fisheries management that will help ensure healthy oceans and coastal communities for generations.

To learn more about big-picture fisheries management, click the icons below.

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Conserve Bait Fish

Forage fish provide food for recreationally and commercially important species such as tuna...

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Minimize Bycatch

The unintended catch of nontarget fish and other wildlife—which are often discarded dead or...

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Protect Fish Habitat

Fish, like all animals, need sufficient places to find shelter and food, grow, and reproduce...

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Proceed With Caution

As the ocean becomes warmer, scientists are finding that some species have started to move...

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Require Fishery Ecosystem Plans

Our fisheries management system emphasizes the health of individual fish populations or stocks.

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