The Future of Fish and Fishing in America's Oceans

  • October 01, 2009

Fish are essential to life in the world's oceans. They are the predators or prey of virtually every creature that swims with them or flies above the sea.

Their waste and remains nourish life on the ocean floor, and they feed billions of people across the planet. Fish are a bellwether of the health of ocean life and of our own future.

Unfortunately, many of the world's fish populations are in jeopardy. In its most recent report, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization found that nearly a third of the Earth's fish stocks were overexploited, depleted or recovering from depletion.

In the United States, decades of costly declines in fish populations led Congress in 2006 to significantly strengthen the law that governs how fish are managed in federal waters. If these changes are effectively implemented, America can protect and rebuild valuable fish populations and set a standard for the rest of the world to follow.