Fish lovers, rejoice! Last week, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) released record breaking news, showing yet again, that the Magnuson-Stevens Act is working. In its 2014 Status of Stocks report, NMFS reported that overfishing and overfished numbers are at an all-time low, and the number of rebuilt fish stocks has grown to 37!
Since 2007, the percentage of stocks that are facing overfishing, or that are already overfished, has decreased—even though fishing is increasing. This points to positive rebuilding progress for our nation’s fisheries. It is clear that sound science and managing the long term future of our fisheries is working for America’s fish stocks as well as for the country’s economy.
It is important that this progress continue. More than 1.7 million jobs in the United States rely on commercial and recreational fisheries, contributing $199 billion annually. This is in large part thanks to the Magnuson-Stevens Act, our country’s fisheries management law.
The Magnuson-Stevens Act is an invaluable tool for protecting the economic benefits realized by our nation’s fisheries. This law is critical to preserving the health and integrity of our ocean’s complicated and delicate marine ecosystems. The Status of the Stocks report further proves that the Magnuson-Stevens Act is making important strides toward ending overfishing, and we can’t afford to stop now.
Ocean Conservancy looks forward to future improvements to the Magnuson-Stevens Act to continue our achievements in rebuilding fisheries so that we may realize the long-term ecological and economic sustainability of our nation’s fisheries.