A federal government report stated Tuesday that the list of fish stocks that are subject to overfishing in the U.S. fell to an all-time low in 2019.

The National Marine Fisheries Service tracks the health of species that U.S. fishermen seek for commercial and recreational fishing. The agency places stocks on its overfishing list when the rate of catch is too big.

The fisheries service determined that only 22 of 321 fishing stocks were subject to overfishing last year, the agency said on Tuesday.

Fish stocks are sub-populations of fish species that typically live in a geographic area.

In addition to tracking fishing effort, the agency keeps a separate list of stocks that are considered “overfished,” meaning the stock is too low. That list grew slightly to 46 out of 244 species, the agency said Tuesday.

Stocks added to the overfished list include Pacific sardine, Atlantic Coast bluefish, Gulf of Maine white hake and Georges Bank winter flounder.

The fisheries service said two stocks that were once overfished were declared rebuilt. They are American plaice and Southern California cowcod.

The federal government uses the data gathered from assembling the stocks to inform fishing regulations.


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