I bring all this up because it points out what I think is an ongoing problem that is somehow continually missed by NOAA Fisheries. On the email press release sent out to tout the success of sustainable fisheries management, the commercial industry highlights read: U.S. commercial fishermen landed 9.5 billion pounds of seafood
valued at $5.4 billion in 2014. There were strong landings of 3.1 billion pounds for the nation’s largest commercial fishery, walleye pollock, valued at $400 million. Dutch Harbor, Alaska, and New Bedford,
Massachusetts, continue to dominate the list of top ports driven by landings of pollock for Alaska and sea scallops in Massachusetts. U.S. marine and freshwater aquaculture production was valued at $1.4 billion, about one-quarter the value of the nation’s commercial wild catch. The top five highest-value commercial species categories were crabs ($686 million), shrimp ($681 million), lobster ($625 million), salmon
($617 million) and scallops ($428 million).
Some pretty impressive numbers, right? These highlights were followed by the highlights for the recreational fishery — 10.4 million anglers took 68 million trips in 2014. These recreational anglers caught 392 million fish, and released 60 percent of those caught. The total harvest was estimated at 155 million fish weighing 186 million pounds. (Someone is landing a lot of small fish!) The top five U.S. species ranked by pounds landed were striped bass, bluefish, yellowfin tuna, mahimahi and summer flounder.