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Once decimated US fish stocks enjoy big bounce back by Brian Handwerk March 26,2013   |  Source: National Geographic News

Two-thirds of the closely monitored U.S. fish species once devastated by overfishing have bounced back in a big way thanks to management plans instituted 10 to 15 years ago, a new study says. And fish aren't the only ones celebrating. Recovering populations can mean more revenue and jobs for some fishermen—but unfortunately success hasn't been universal.

Authors of a new Natural Resources Defense Council report said the results prove that critically overfished species can be rebuilt, even from very low levels, when Mother Nature is given a chance to recover. That's good news in a world where rampant overfishing is a critical concern.

"This demonstrates that when we trace the historic arch of these fisheries in which rebuilding requirements were put in place 15 years ago, we see real positive news. We see populations that were depleted or in decline turned around and rebuilt or well on their way to rebuilding," said principal author Brad Sewell.

"It's not 100 percent. It's two-thirds, so it's not unbridled good news but it does show the effectiveness of a law that has had its share of controversy," he added.

The study used in-depth stock assessments and other data from NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service to chart the progress of stocks managed under the

 

© 1996-2013 National Geographic Society

Theme(s): Fisheries Resources.

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