The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council took final action on Amendment 43 at their June 2016 meeting. The purpose of this action is to 1) redefine the geographic range of the West Florida hogfish stock, 2) set s
This amendment and rule will provide an opportunity for eligible individuals to replace historical captain permits in the reef fish and coastal migratory pelagic fisheries with standard federal for-hire permits. The rule would apply to ind
Amendment 48 to the Gulf Reef Fish FMP and Amendment 5 to the Gulf Red Drum FMP establish MSY proxies, overfishing and overfished determination criteria (aka MSSTs), and optimum yield (OY) for some reef fish species and red drum.
This action would implement a framework to modify the state-specific red snapper private angling component ACLs using the calibration ratios developed by NMFS and would adjust red snapper catch limits.
Federal and state regulations and monitoring requirements ensure that salmon farming (as practiced in the United States) has minimal impact on the environment.
Farmed salmon are incredibly efficient at converting feed to edible protein. Alternative feeds have been developed to reduce the amount of fish meal and fish oil from forage fish.
Atlantic salmon are spawned and raised in on-land hatcheries until large enough for transfer to net-pens in coastal waters.
Atlantic salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. They are not fed or injected with dyes. Antibiotic use is strictly limited in the United States and is prescribed only on a case-by-case basis by an on-site veterinarian.
Permitting for salmon aquaculture is governed by federal, state and local governments.
The federal agencies involved are NOAA, the Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and the Coast Guard.
Salmon farms must adhere to federal regulations including those in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation & Management Act, the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. //
Salmon hatcheries supply juvenile fish for both stock enhancement and commercial farms.
Hatcheries can use captive or wild broodstock.
Male and female salmon are spawned, and fertilized eggs are transferred to environmentally controlled tanks.
After hatching into fry, juvenile salmon are raised to 40-120 grams and transferred to a grow-out facility or released for stock enhancement.
Farmed salmon grow-out facilities are typically coastal net pens, which are enclosed cages submerged in aquatic environments.
Grow-out can also be in full or partial recirculating systems on land.
Water Quality & Benthic Impacts:
Impacts to the environment can occur around fish farms when organic nutrients from uneaten food and fish waste exceed the capacity of the ecosystem to assimilate them.
Potential environmental impacts are largely avoided with proper farm siting, management and modern technologies.
Modeling interactions of farms and the environment can help guide decisions about siting locations.
Fish farms in the United States are required to meet waste discharge standards under the Clean Water Act.
Water quality: when farms are sited in well-flushed water, nutrient enrichment in the water column is generally not detectable.
Benthic impacts: proper siting in well-flushed erosional sea floors, and practices such as fallowing, control the impact of fish farms on the benthic environment.
On rare occasions farmed fish escape and can possibly interact with their wild counterparts.
Federal and state permits require containment management systems at all marine sites.
There have been zero escapes of farmed Atlantic Salmon in Maine since 2003.
NOAA is using models to understand the risk of escaped fish affecting the genetic diversity of wild populations. //
This is a test of the hybrid tilefish which is both targeted and endangered. Who knew?
Blueline tilefish get their name from a narrow gold stripe underlined in blue that runs from their snout to the tip of their eye.
They have a long snout and are a dull olive-gray on the top of their body and white on the bottom.
They have long, continuous dorsal and anal fins that are more than half the length of their body.
Unlike golden tilefish, they do not have a large adipose flap (crest) on their head.
Blueline tilefish can grow to be 35 inches long and live up to 26 years.
Males can grow larger than females.
Female blueline tilefish mature when they are about 3 years old.
They can spawn year-round, but peak spawning is in May. Spawning primarily occurs at night.
Females can lay more than 4 million free-floating eggs.
Blueline tilefish feed primarily on invertebrates that live near the sea floor, such as crabs, shrimp, snails, worms, sea urchins, and small fish.
Recent genetic studies suggest that the U.S. Atlantic population of blueline tilefish is continuous from the northeastern Gulf of Mexico, around the Florida Keys, and up through the Mid-Atlantic region.
Last updated by NOAA Fisheries on 04/28/2022
Also Known As
American oyster, Atlantic oyster, American cupped oyster, Virginia oyster
Average 3 ounces
Average 3–5 inches in length; can grow up to 8 inches
Up to 20 years
Habitat loss, overharvesting, disease, degraded water quality, changing conditions due to climate change
About the Species
The Eastern oyster is treasured as food by humans and other species. They are habitat for fish, crabs, and other critters—and because as filter feeders, they help filter the water. Centuries ago, they were plentiful. In some places, reefs were so big that ships had to navigate around them. Since then, in many areas, the populations have dwindled to just a few percent of what they once were. This is due to disease, overharvesting, habitat loss, and poor water quality.
But people—including NOAA scientists—are working hard to rebuild oyster populations. Many people are growing oysters for people to eat. Oyster aquaculture—farming of these tasty shellfish—is a growing industry. And NOAA and our partners are working to restore the healthy oyster reefs that so many other species rely on for habitat. Recreational anglers target healthy reefs for fishing opportunities, too. In the Chesapeake Bay, for example, NOAA and partners are involved in the world’s largest oyster restoration effort. There, they have restored nearly 1,100 acres of oyster reef.
Reaches 8 inches at maturity.
The shell has smooth edges and is oval in shape. The inside of the shell is white to off/white to brownish in color.
The shell has a “cupped” shape to it, giving rise to its alternate name “American cupped oyster.”
The NOAA Fisheries Technical Memorandum on total suspended matter near restored oyster reefs in the Chesapeake Bay explores differences between reef areas that are influenced by the Bay's main stem or by creeks.
In some places, oysters are farmed intertidally and live out of the water for a time at low tide. These shellfish are raised in mesh bags and open to filter feed during high tide. Here, a NOAA Fisheries aquaculture coordinator visits an intertidal farm. Photo: NOAA Fisheries
This recycled oyster shell was used to build an oyster reef in Virginia's Lynnhaven River. Healthy adult oysters on nearby reefs spawn annually, and their offspring will help populate the new reef within a couple of years. Photo: Lynnhaven River Now
Middens—historic piles of oyster shells discarded after humans ate the meat—show that people have eaten Eastern oysters along the East Coast of North America for perhaps 2,000 years or more. For people who enjoy eating them, they are a treasured culinary delicacy.
But their status as a tasty source of protein, vitamins, and minerals led to years of overharvesting. Oysters also face challenges from disease and habitat degradation. Today, in many areas, oyster populations are only a fraction of what they once were. In the Chesapeake Bay, scientists estimate that the population is only at 1–2 percent of historic levels.
NOAA is teaming up with other organizations to restore oyster reefs up and down the East Coast. In the Chesapeake Bay, we are part of the world’s largest oyster restoration effort. With partners, we are working to restore oyster reefs in 10 Chesapeake Bay tributaries by 2025. That’s the goal set by Chesapeake Bay Program. So far, three tributaries are considered restored, and work continues in seven more. All together, in Maryland and Virginia, roughly 1,100 acres can be considered restored as part of this effort.
We also support science related to Eastern oysters. Our scientists provide technical advice to people who are working on oyster restoration projects. And we carry out and fund research about oysters, too. A recently published report details the benefits that restored oyster reefs bring to the ecosystem, such as:
Filtering the water
Providing habitat for fish, crabs, invertebrates, and macrofauna
In response to the stock assessment in 2013, more restrictive regulations were implemented in the South Atlantic’s Snapper-Grouper FMP and commercial landings declined by half.
In 2017, management measures were developed by the Mid-Atlantic Council.
In 2019, commercial landings of blueline tilefish totaled 261,000 pounds and were valued at $635,000, according to the NOAA Fisheries commercial fishing landings database. These figures may not match other agency sources of data due to confidential information.
2019 landings occurred in Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. The highest landings were in North Carolina and Florida.
Gear types, habitat impacts, and bycatch:
Commercial fishermen mainly use longline and vertical hook-and-line gear to harvest blueline tilefish.
Sea turtles, marine mammals, smalltooth sawfish, and reef fishes can be incidentally caught while fishing for blueline tilefish.
Commercial reef fish fishermen in the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico must use “release gear” and follow safe-handling protocols to increase the chance of survival for incidentally caught protected species, like sea turtles and smalltooth sawfish.
To further reduce bycatch, the use of trawl gear, fish traps, and bottom longlines are prohibited in certain areas of the South Atlantic, and several areas are also closed to all fishing to protect snapper and grouper species.
To protect reef fish, sea turtles, and bottom habitat in the Gulf of Mexico, there are restrictions on the areas and depths where longlines can be used.
In the Gulf of Mexico and certain areas of the South Atlantic, fishermen are required to use circle hooks to reduce injury to any unintentional catch.
In 2019, recreational anglers caught 159,000 pounds of blueline tilefish.
Charterboat/headboat reef fish fishermen in the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico must use de-hooking devices and follow safe-handling protocols to increase the chance of survival for incidentally caught protected species, like sea turtles and smalltooth sawfish.
In the Mid-Atlantic, for-hire vessels are required to have a permit and report catch, and recreational anglers can keep a limited number of blueline tilefish per fishing trip.
In the South Atlantic, blueline tilefish are included in the daily aggregate grouper bag limit for recreational fishermen.
In the Gulf of Mexico, there is a limit on the number of reef fish, including blueline tilefish, that recreational fishermen can keep per day.
Last updated by NOAA Fisheries on 04/28/2022
Disease Treatment and Prevention
Last updated by NOAA Fisheries on 04/28/2022
Protected Tilefish (Very Rare!)
This page will contain info on the protected populations of tilefish.
Only the Hudson Canyon population of tilefish is protected. Feel free to eat any others.