NOAA Fisheries has released its 2022 Status of Stocks report, showing some improvement over the previous year in terms of overfishing.
According to the latest report, released during a NOAA Fisheries teleconference on April 27, 93% of stocks were not subject to overfishing in 2022 and 81% were not overfished. Those numbers compared with data showing that 92% of stocks were subject to overfishing in 2021 and 80% were not overfished.
NOAA officials said positive trends were seen this year with the number of stocks on the overfishing list decreasing by two to 24. Overfished stocks decreased by three to 48.
NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad said the latest annual report reveals the U.S. remains a global leader in maintaining sustainable fisheries that drive the blue economy, support coastal communities and play a key role in marine ecosystems. NOAA and its partners continue to build on the country’s fisheries management approach by advancing policies and plans to help address changing conditions.
The latest data show that U.S. commercial and recreational fishing supports 1.7 million full- and part-time jobs across the broader economy, while generating over $253 billion in sales impacts and contributing $79.4 billion to the gross domestic product.
NOAA Fisheries Assistant Administrator Janet Coit said that the agency conducted 198 stock assessments in fiscal year 2022. Working in partnership with the regional Fishery Management Councils under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act continues to be key to rebuilding and maintaining sustainable fish stocks, she added.
NOAA researchers recently developed global forecasts that can provide up to a year’s advance notice of marine heatwaves that can cause sudden and dramatic increases in ocean temperatures. The forecasts are intended to help fishing fleets, ocean managers and coastal communities anticipate significant changes in ocean ecosystems.