NOAA Report on Fisheries _ UPSC

NOAA Report on Fisheries | UPSC


As many as 47 fish stocks rebuilt since 2000: NOAA data

      WHY IN NEWS:

The total number of stocks listed as overfished slightly increased and two previously overfished stocks were rebuilt.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Agriculture : Fisheries : Report


For PRELIMS go through the important terminologies mentioned below. Take a note in your Prelims book.

For MAINS go through potential threats and challenges faced in fisheries management . This is an important issue for this year . Let us dive in !


Four stocks added to overfished list, bringing the total to 46 at the end of 2019


Status of Stocks 2019


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA) U.S.A .


  • The annual Status of Stocks report highlight the goal of maximizing fishing opportunities while ensuring the sustainability of fisheries and fishing communities that support the American economy.

This report highlights the sustainability of fisheries and fishing communities while maximizing fishing opportunities.

  • Through the combined efforts of NOAA Fisheries, the eight regional fishery management councils, and other partners, the number of stocks on the overfishing list reached an all-time low.


  • MAXIMUM SUSTAINABLE YIELD (MSY): The largest long-term average catch that can be taken from a stock under prevailing environmental and fishery conditions.

OVERFISHING : A stock having a harvest rate higher than the rate that produces its MSY. 

  • OVERFISHED : A stock having a population size that is too low and that jeopardizes the stock’s ability to produce its MSY.
  • REBUILT : A stock that was previously overfished and that has increased in abundance to the target population size that supports its MSY.


  • The two fish stocks that were rebuilt in 2019 were Southern California cowcod and American plaice.
  • A rebuilding plan is prepared by the NOAA as and when the stock becomes overfished.

This plan allows fishing to continue at a reduced level so the stock can rebuild to its target level and produce its MSY.

  • The approach also keeps fishermen and waterfronts working while stocks rebuild.


  • Individual fishing quotas in the trawl fishery.
  • Use of recreational fishing gear that improved survival rates of discarded cowcod.
  • Collaboration between fishermen, environmental groups, fisheries managers, and others leading to higher catch levels of cowcod.

NOAA Report on Fisheries _ UPSC

The Southern California cowcod | American plaice.

Photo Source: NOAA

  • The American plaice, on the other hand, was rebuilt after 15 years under a rebuilding plan.
  • During this time, the stock size more than tripled and according to NOAA,.
  • This will result in a 96 per cent increase in catch levels in 2020 compared to 2019.


  • The added overfished stocks point to the increase environmental change, habitat degradation and international fishing.
  • The warm water conditions, for example, affected the growth and reproduction of the cold-water Saint Matthew Island blue king crab.
  • For the reason, the stock has never been subject to overfishing and directed fishing for this crab has been prohibited since 2016.

Some of these stocks are also impacted by international harvest .

  • Among the species added in the overfished list in 2019 is the Pacific sardine.
  • While its commercial fishing has been banned since 2015, ocean conditions led to years of poor reproduction reduced its population to pretty low levels.

NOAA Report on Fisheries _ UPSC

Source: NOAA


  • NOAA Fisheries is responsible for ocean resources and their habitat in USA.
  • NOAA provide vital services for the nation: productive and sustainable fisheries, safe sources of seafood, the recovery and conservation of protected resources, and healthy ecosystems.

They set catch limits, ensure compliance with fisheries regulations, and reduce bycatch

  • NOAA Fisheries works in partnership with Regional Fishery Management Councils to assess and predict the status of fish stocks.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Commercial and recreational saltwater fishing generates more sales and employment.
  • Ending overfishing and rebuilding stocks aims build a stronger economy, coastal communities and marine ecosystems and providing sustainable seafood for any nation.
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB | NOAA Report on Fisheries | UPSC

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