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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 of coastal towns. In 2006, the commercial fishing sector and related businesses contributed billions of dollars to the U.S. economy. Together, both sectors accounted for approximately 160,000 jobs.
Because of their importance to the health of our oceans and coastal communities, we must ensure the endurance of our fisheries. Many of our depleted populations are making progress under critical rebuilding plans, but more needs to be done. Sustainable populations of fish in our region will result in healthier coastal and ocean ecosystems for the benefit of everyone. These fish populations in turn will support and enhance the commercial and recreational fisheries in the region, creating stability and guaranteeing the long-term success of coastal communities. We cannot afford the costs of further delay – unstable fish populations, uncertain and fluctuating quotas and an uncertain future for ocean and coastal ecosystems.
The Pew Environment Group is leading a campaign to ensure that federal fishery managers in the Mid-Atlantic end overfishing and rebuild depleted fish populations. To accomplish this, we seek ways to improve fisheries data and management that establish enforceable limits based on sound science. Ending overfishing and rebuilding depleted populations will contribute positively to the region, ensuring long-term economic health, adding jobs and restoring healthy ecosystems.
Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information, view the materials below.
Nov 03, 2009 - Science-based annual catch limits are essential if catch shares are to be effective and if requirements to end overfishing and rebuild depleted fish populations are to be met.
View: Full Report (Adobe PDF)
Jul 23, 2009 - This report provides new analysis of the potential economic benefits of rebuilding, focusing on four depleted fish populations in the Mid-Atlantic: summer flounder, black sea bass, bluefish and butterfish.
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A decade ago, the Pew Oceans Commission found that America’s oceans were in crisis. What has happened since?
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