Fish Release Mortality Science Action Plan

Fish Release Mortality Science Action Plan

Keeping track of how many fish die—because they’re caught and kept or don’t survive after being thrown back—is important information for the sustainable management of fish populations. But while estimating the number of fish brought to the docks is a challenge, it’s even more difficult to count discarded fish that subsequently die. Consider that of the 430 million fish caught by U.S. recreational anglers in 2013, about 61 percent were released. Commercial fishermen, who hauled in 9.5 billion pounds in the same year, threw back 1 pound of fish for every 5 pounds caught. The reasons range from catch limit rules to seasonal closures to accidental capture of endangered or prohibited species. Estimates vary of how many of these fish survive. Therefore, it is critical to get a better handle on these numbers to monitor the effects of fishing on the health of the population.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently released a draft Action Plan for Fish Discard and Release Mortality Science to improve data and science about discarded fish.

Pew submitted the following letter to NOAA, urging further actions to bolster the plan.

Spotlight on Mental Health

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How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

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What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

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Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.

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