Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay are no longer subject to overfishing.
The newly released “Status of the Stocks” report released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows that 2016 numbers were down, and both local fisheries have been removed from the top list.
Added to the list for 2016 were fisheries in Puerto Rico, along the Southern Atlantic Coast, and coho in Puget Sound. Removed were fall Chinook in Grays Harbor, Willapa Bay, the Hoh, and the Columbia River Basin.
Four stocks came off the overfishing list, while six stocks were added to the overfishing list. There were no changes to the list of overfished stocks in 2016.
A stock is on the overfishing list when the catch rate is too high, and on the overfished list when the population size of a stock is too low.
In the report, NOAA’s Fisheries Economics says that U.S. commercial and recreational fishing generated $208 billion in sales, with 2.5 billion coming from Washington, contributed $97 billion to the gross domestic product and supported 1.6 million full- and part-time jobs in 2015 — above the five-year average.
“U.S. fisheries are big business,” said Samuel Rauch, acting assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries. “Sustainable management of our nation’s fisheries, supported by sound science, opens up economic opportunities to Americans along the supply chain – from buying bait at a local marina to enjoying a seafood dinner.”
In 2016, they say that U.S. fisheries continued to rebuild, with the number of stocks on the overfishing and overfished lists remaining near all-time lows.