August 25, 2019
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US fish stocks at sustainable levels, feds say

Robert F. Bukaty | AP
Robert F. Bukaty | AP
A 422-pound Atlantic bluefin tuna is hoisted from a boat at the South Portland, Aug. 4, 2018.

The vast majority of U.S. fish stocks were at sustainable levels in 2018, and the number of U.S. fish stocks subject to overfishing remains at a near-all time low.

That’s according to NOAA fisheries in an annual report released Friday on the status of 479 federally managed species. Officials said Atlantic mackerel and big-eye tuna are now considered overfished and smooth skate is listed as having been rebuilt.

NOAA Sustainable Fisheries Director Alan Risenhoover said the North Atlantic fishery is fairly stable right now. He said the goal of management is to get optimum yield.

“Where we balance some social and economic and some biological characteristics of that stock to ensure that we’re taking as much out as we can, but making sure that it’s sustainable in the future,” Risenhoover said.

But he said there are a number of stocks that are being overfished in the Northeast.

“But that’s also a place where we’ve seen a lot of change in the environment,” he said. “Water temperatures are warming, the distribution of those stocks are changing.”

Among other New England stocks considered overfished are Atlantic cod, yellowtail flounder and red hake.

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.

 



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