Overfishing still threatens fish populations

Overfishing is still a problem along the southern Atlantic coast, according to a new report from an environmental coalition.

Almost a hundred species of fish could be caught along the southern Atlantic coast, the Marine Fish Conservation Network says in its annual report, but only 7 percent of those species are known to be at healthy levels.

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council monitors fish levels along the Atlantic Coast, from North Carolina to the Florida Keys, said spokeswoman Caroline Keicher.

And while overfishing isn’t as bad as it used to be in the southern Atlantic region, the network says national levels are still in danger.

The National Marine Fisheries Service has said the number of species that are overfished has been going down nationwide, but the conservation network’s report says that’s only because the service is fudging the numbers.

Managers have been dropping some species from the count, or consolidating some groups of fish, to make it seem like overfishing is going down, the report says.

The director of the South Atlantic council said that, while he did not disagree that it needs better data, managers “are not cooking the book.”

“We have some species that are overfished, but we have so many unknowns,” said Bob Mahood, director of the South Atlantic Council.

Source: Sun News (USA)