Whale tail

Southeast

NOAA Fisheries Southeast

The southeastern United States is home to the largest concentration of saltwater recreational fishing in America. Whether seeking iconic fish to catch for sport or for sustenance, recreational fishing in the Southeast generates more than $15 billion in sales annually for more than 4.5 million fishermen taking more than 36 million fishing trips every year.

Covering a vast area from Texas to North Carolina and the U.S. Caribbean, the Southeast has the largest wetland acreage and the largest coral reef track in the contiguous United States and provides the only known calving grounds for the highly endangered North Atlantic Right Whale. Right whales travel here in the fall to give birth off the eastern coast of Florida.

Right whales aren’t alone though—bottlenose dolphins, sea turtles, a variety of corals, sawfish and Atlantic sturgeon are also residents of our region. This variety creates unique viewing opportunities, experiences, and even challenges for those living in and visiting our region.

Together, NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office and Southeast Fisheries Science Center work to protect our marine life and their habitat, offering sound science to help inform management decisions in an ever-changing environment.