The Fisheries Blog

NOAA’s Status of Stocks

Last week NOAA Fisheries announced the status of the fish stocks in the US and reported the lowest ever number of stocks on the overfished list.

The 2017 Report can be found here.

Recalled that the overfished status refers to the biomass of the stock being too low, and the overfishing status refers to the rate at which fish are being harvested. A stock can be (1) both overfished and with overfishing occurring, or (2) overfished but with overfishing not occurring, or (3) not overfished but with overfishing occurring, or (4) not overfished and with no overfishing occurring. Here is a little more on the topic.

NOAA is pleased to report improvements in both overfished stocks and stocks subject to overfishing.


2017 status of stocks overfished and subject to overfishing. 



In particular, 3 species were determined to be rebuilt. All three are Pacific Coast species.


NOAA 2017 rebuilt stocks.


Unfortunately, 3 stocks were also added to the overfished list and 6 stocks were added to the overfishing list. The overfishing list is important, but if the stock biomass is still high enough, changes in harvest can hopefully prevent the overfishing stocks to rebound. The overfished stocks are troubling because their biomass has dipped below safe levels. The 3 stocks on the overfished list are all Atlantic species—Red Grouper, Shortfin Mako, and Red Hake.

For a full geographical summary of overfished and overfishing status, see the graphic below.