America's ocean fish are one of our most valuable natural resources, providing fresh and delicious seafood, millions of jobs and billions of dollars in income. If sustainably managed, U.S. fish stocks can be an enduring source of national economic security. Overfishing—taking fish from the ocean faster than they can reproduce—must end, so that we can restore and maintain strong economies and healthy ecosystems.
Sound science is critical to managing ocean fish. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) depends on federal funding for fishery data collection and analysis to ensure that managers set catch levels that maximize fishing opportunities without threatening the health of stocks. Congress must invest in funding for NOAA's data collection and analysis programs in the fiscal 2012 budget to provide the facts that managers need to best protect and rebuild America's ocean fish populations.
Everyday Americans, celebrity chefs, commercial and recreational fishermen and 246 independent groups and businesses (PDF) are speaking out to support fisheries science funding. View our slideshow to see just a few of the people who are asking Congress to make this important part of the government's domestic budget a priority.