National Marine Fisheries Service released its report to Congress last week on
the state of U.S. Fisheries, noting that many stocks have rebounded, though
some remain overfished - especially in New England waters.
showed six more U.S. fish species once considered overfished rebounded to
healthy levels in 2011. That brings the number of rebuilt fish stocks in the
past 11 years to 27.
also said 45 of 219 fish populations, or 21 percent, are considered overfished.
Thirteen of those are in New England, the most of any geographic region.
Alaska, two species of crab, Pribilof Blue Kings and Southern Bering Sea
Tanners, are considered overfished, while Walleye Pollock are on the upswing
and Bering Sea Snow Crab are declared rebuilt.
Bob Foy, director
of the Kodiak Laboratory of the Alaska Fisheries Science Center, regularly
leads stock surveys into the Bering Sea. He said "rebuilt" means a stock has
achieved enough biomass to sustain a commercial fishery.
crab, which are now considered rebuilt, were declared overfished in 1999 and declared rebuilt in 2011.
different story for Pribilof Blue King Crab, which was declared overfished in
2002. Foy said the
10-year rebuilding plan put in place in 2002 did not accomplish its goal and a
new one is being developed by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.
Tanner Crab were declared overfished in 2010 and the directed fishery for them
was closed last year.
is lead stock assessment scientist at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center in
Seattle. He says the Walleye Pollock biomass in the Eastern Bering Sea is
greater than 80 percent of the maximum sustained yield biomass of 2-million
tons of spawning females. He said there will be two surveys of pollock this
summer, including further up in the water column, where younger pollock are