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The U.S. Has Not Yet Ended Overfishing

September 20, 2011

In early January, the Associated Press released a story titled “Has Overfishing Ended? Top U.S. Scientist Says Yes.” Based largely on statements by Dr. Steve Murawski, a former National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) chief scientist, the piece was widely distributed and generated scores of articles around the country and beyond.

In fact, Murawski, now a professor at the University of South Florida, noted in the AP story that “we are the only industrialized fishing nation who actually has succeeded in ending overfishing.” Unfortunately, as illustrated by the NMFS First Quarter 2011 Status of U.S. Fisheries report, the struggle to end this enduring problem in U.S. waters isn’t over—at least not yet…

[A]ccording to the latest NMFS report on the status of U.S. fisheries released in March—after Murawski’s statements—39 of America’s most valuable commercial and recreational fisheries are still subject to overfishing.

The U.S. has greatly reduced overfishing, but the job is not yet done. More here.

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