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NOAA Annual Report Shows U.S. Fish Stocks At Sustainable Levels For 2018

Lisa Poole
AP Photo

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 say 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 says the North Atlantic fishery is fairly stable right now. He says 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,” says Risenhoover.

However, he says 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 says. “Water temperatures are warming, the distribution of those stocks are changing.”

Among other New England stocks on the Overfished and Overfishing lists are Atlantic Cod, Yellowtail Flounder and Red Hake.

Originally published 4:42 p.m. August 2, 2019

Ed is a Maine native who spent his early childhood in Livermore Falls before moving to Farmington. He graduated from Mount Blue High School in 1970 before going to the University of Maine at Orono where he received his BA in speech in 1974 with a broadcast concentration. It was during that time that he first became involved with public broadcasting. He served as an intern for what was then called MPBN TV and also did volunteer work for MPBN Radio.