Since 2009, Pew has advocated for sustainable fishing, ocean habitat conservation, and other measures to protect vital marine resources in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Atlantic menhaden, a small fish that is the preferred prey for many wildlife species found along the East Coast, has been a focus for Pew. In less than a decade, management of this fishery, the country’s second-largest by volume, has transformed from lacking even coastwide catch limits to initiating ecosystem-based fisheries management. As a result, menhaden are showing signs of significant recovery. Managers in the region also agreed to create precautionary rules to protect unexploited forage fish from sudden, uncontrolled increases in catch and were among the first to protect deep-sea corals from damaging fishing gear.
In 2019, Pew expanded its U.S. ocean conservation efforts by adding a focus on essential coastal habitats, including oyster reefs and underwater seagrass beds. Read more about Pew’s ongoing work on these and related issues on the Conserving Marine Life in the U.S.— East Coast page.