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Fish along US coast seeing recovery in stocks, says NOAA

Controversial catch limits may be working says a report by the NOAA, which said that six species of fish off the US coast have returned to 'healthy levels.'

fish faceEnlarge
A report by the NOAA says that six fish stocks have returned to healthy levels off the US coast. (Christoper Furlong/Getty Images)

Six fish populations in the US were rebuilt to 'healthy levels,' according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The six species are Bering Sea snow crab, the Mid-Atlantic summer flounder, the Gulf of Maine haddock, the Northern California coast chinook salmon, the Washington State coho salmon, the Pacific widow rockfish.

In a report to the US Congress, the NOAA said that the rebuilding of fish stocks was likely due to controversial catch limits put in place over the last decade.

“Healthy and abundant fish populations and marine ecosystems support seafood for Americans, create lasting jobs, and enhance saltwater recreational fishing opportunities," said Samuel Rauch, acting assistant NOAA administrator for fisheries, reported NBC Alabama 13.

“With annual catch limits in place this year for all domestic fish populations and the continued commitment of fishermen to rebuild the stocks they rely on, we’re making even greater progress in ending overfishing and rebuilding stocks around the nation."

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With the additional six, the total number of rebuilt fish stocks in the US reached 27.

The New York Times reported that under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, which was first created in 1976 and later amended, the NOAA is required to report annually on the state of coastal fish stocks and to ensure the rebuilding of those that were depleted by overfishing.

"This is evidence that we are moving in the right direction and that sacrifices that fishermen have made are paying off," said Lee Crockett of the Pew Environment Group, reported Science.

“It is a demonstration that the sacrifices are showing results."

Fishing supports over 1 million jobs in the United States.

Commerical fishing generates about $100 billion in income, says the NOAA.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/science/120515/fish-along-us-coast-seeing-recovery-stocks-says-noaa