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Southeastern U.S. waters are endowed with magnificent ecosystems that range from coral gardens and deepwater canyons to estuaries and shallow tropical waters. These environmental jewels draw divers, anglers and tourists from around the world who expect healthy waters and robust fish populations.
But years of overfishing have put all of this at risk by devastating fish populations, including 14 species of snapper, grouper and reef fish. Several are so depleted they are now listed as species of concern and might be candidates for listing under the Endangered Species Act if better scientific data about their status was known. All of the species are long-lived and slow-growing and take years to recover. For example, Gulf of Mexico red snapper have been overfished for nearly two decades and could take more than 30 years to rebound.
The Campaign to End Overfishing in the Southeast is leading efforts to work with the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico fishery management councils and the National Marine Fisheries Service to establish science-based annual catch limits for overfished species by 2010 and for all other species by 2011. The campaign works to bring scientific expertise to bear on fishery management plans and seeks common ground with fishermen to find solutions that balance human and environmental needs and raise awareness about overfishing and potential remedies.
Join Pew's e-alert network to receive updates on important fishing policy changes and how you can help.
For more information, visit the End Overfishing in the Southeast website.
Sep 04, 2012 - This study examines an important component of the costs of overfishing in the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico regions — recreational catch losses from historic overfishing and their associated economic impacts. Our analysis covers nine federally managed overfished stocks in these two regions over the period 2005–2009, the most recent years for which the necessary data were available prior to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf.
View: Full Report (Adobe PDF)
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.
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