WASHINGTON, June 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Fisheries Institute
(NFI) welcomed news today that the vast majority of U.S. fisheries are
sustainably managed. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration's (NOAA) "Status of Fisheries of the United States" report,
81 percent of fish stocks assessed for 2005 are sustainably managed and one
stock in the Pacific Northwest, Lingcod, has been fully rebuilt three years
ahead of schedule.
"The bottom line is: if the species of fish is in the store or on the
menu, the stock is available to meet consumer demand," said NFI President
John Connelly. "It is our industry's goal to ensure our products will be
available to American consumers for years to come and this new report
highlights our efforts to achieve that."
Of the 206 stocks assessed this year, about three-quarters of those
stocks are healthy. Six fish stocks with previously low populations are now
rebuilt and considered sustainable. Stocks that have been assessed with a
low sustainable population will undergo a rebuilding plan developed by the
regional fishery management councils to restore the fish to sustainable
"A fish stock categorized as 'overfished' doesn't mean it is on the
verge of extinction," said Connelly. "Imagine you're driving and you're low
on gas but know that you have many miles to drive before hitting empty.
Just as you want to replenish your gas supply before getting to 'E,'
fisheries managers put plans in place to replenish fish species before
stocks are threatened. The 'overfished' determination factors in a safety
margin that ensures the fish population will be able to recover."
As in the past, this year's findings demonstrate the continued effort
by NOAA Fisheries, along with commercial and recreational fishermen, to
support sustainable harvesting of this nutritious and affordable protein
"Experts in our industry, with years of experience and knowledge, are
committed to continued collaboration with government officials, community
representatives, conservationists and others involved in the regional
council process," Connelly continued. "We look forward to continued
progress in the future."
Under NOAA Fisheries, the federal government oversees a system of eight
regional fishery management councils covering fisheries from Maine to
Hawaii. The decision-making authority rests with these regional councils,
which are comprised of representatives of the various sectors involved in
fisheries. The diversity of interests represented on the councils has
helped ensure all parties have a voice in the regulatory process.
NFI is the leading trade association for the seafood industry whose
members represent a variety of businesses ranging from the water to the
table. For more information visit our website at
SOURCE National Fisheries Institute