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Tuesday, May 21st, 2013
Haddock, five other fisheries return to healthy levels
Six fish stocks return to normal levels
Gulf of Maine haddock, Atlantic flounder, among six fisheries on at healthy levels
By Walter Brooks
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports that a record number of fisheries have returned to what the agency calls healthy levels, and they all got there last year.The six populations of fish which returned to healthy levels in 2011 are:
- Bering Sea snow crab
- Mid-Atlantic summer flounder
- Gulf of Maine haddock
- Northern California coast chinook salmon
- Washington State coho salmon
- Pacific widow rockfish
Altogether the NOAA Fisheries Service said 27 fish stocks have been returned to health in the last 11 years.
Success at last for troubled NOAA reporting
The local Massachusetts commercial fishermen have been highly critical of the methodology used by NOAA when it cut allowed catch levels in recent years. However, their hands are tied because under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act,
NOAA must report annually on fish stocks in waters within 200 miles of the coast, and depleted stocks must be rebuilt to healthy levels.
NOAA reported to Congress this month that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) tracks the biomass trends for over-fished stocks to monitor rebuilding progress. In 2011, six stocks have fully rebuilt to at least 100% of their biomass sustainable levels ( BMSY), bringing the total number of stocks rebuilt since 2000 to 27.
More stocks were declared rebuilt in 2011 than in any other single year tracked.
Read the NOAA report in its entirety here.
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