The overall number of U.S. fish stocks listed as overfished or subject to overfishing rose slightly in 2016, but the overall downward trend toward healthy fisheries continues, according to NMFS’ annual Status of the Stocks report released this week.

Four fish stocks were removed from the overfishing list of species whose catch rate is deemed too high to manage sustainably — Upper Columbia River summer, Willapa Bay fall and Grays Harbor fall king salmon stocks and Hoh river silver salmon stocks, all along the Washington coast.

While four stocks were removed, the agency added six stocks to the list — Puerto Rico Caribbean spiny lobster, triggerfishes and filefishes complex and wrasses complex, Pribilof Islands blue king crab, Puget Sound’s Hood Canal coho salmon and Southern Atlantic coast tilefish.

Of the 316 stocks with known overfishing status, 30 (9 percent) are on the overfishing list

There were no changes to the number of stocks on the overfished list of stocks whose population size is too low as a result of overfishing. Of the 235 stocks with known overfished status, 38 (16 percent) are on the overfished list.

Georges Bank barndoor skate and North Atlantic albacore populations were declared rebuilt to target levels. That brings the number of U.S. stocks rebuilt since 2000 up to 41.

The full report including details on the science behind the report and overall trends can be found online.

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Samuel Hill is the former associate editor for National Fisherman. He is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine where he got his start in journalism at the campus’ newspaper, the Free Press. He has also written for the Bangor Daily News, the Outline, Motherboard and other publications about technology and culture.

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