Check out what the numbers say in the recently released NOAA annual fisheries report for 2013.
Commercial fishing was on the rise in 2013, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's annual fisheries report released this month, while recreational fishing numbers remained strong, just as in recent years.
In 2013, there was a total number of $9.9 billion pounds of fish and shellfish landed by U.S. commercial fishermen, for a total value of $5.5 billion. Both these numbers exceed the 2012 figures. And while the numbers are on the rise, the fishing is being done responsibly.
Elieen Sobeck, the assistant NOAA administrator for NOAA Fisheries, commented on the numbers saying;
Working with our partners, the regional fishery management councils and the fishing industry, we've made great strides on ending overfishing and are working toward building resilient, healthy and sustainable fish and shellfish stocks.
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The top producing ports have remained the same as previous years. For the 17th straight year, Dutch Harbor, Ala., had the highest yield by weight, with 753 million pounds of fish caught. And for the 14th year in a row, New Bedford, Mass., had the catch with the highest net worth, a total of $379 million with the 2013 haul.
On the recreational side, numbers remained strong, with 71 million fishing trips taken by about 9.5 million anglers in 2013. According to the fisheries report, there were more than 430 million fish landed, with about 61 percent of that number being released alive.
The NOAA fisheries report also included some information about some of the key species that were harvested in 2013. While these numbers look great, it would be even better if we can continue to spread good fishing techniques so that we can get more people fishing and more fishermen can catch and release more fish next year.