Fishing in the Southeast

Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic

Red grouper on hardbottom.

Red grouper on hardbottom.

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

The Southeast Regional Office is home to three fishery management regions: the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic. They are authorized by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to use best available science to manage and conserve marine fishery resources in federal waters from North Carolina through Texas, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Southeast Region works with three fishery management councils; the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean. Council members include state and territory directors, federal fishery managers, scientists, and fishing industry representatives appointed by each state’s Governor. The Council identifies how fisheries should be managed using the best available science, then develop a fishery management plan and recommend regulatory actions to NOAA Fisheries.

Sustainable Fisheries' main objective is to maintain fish stocks important to commercial, recreational, and subsistence fisheries. The goal is to increase long-term economic and social benefits to the nation from living marine resources.


Useful Links



Published Research Stay up to date on fishery announcements, sign up for bulletins and text alerts Join us on Instagram every other Friday for Rec Fish Friday:


Last updated by Southeast Regional Office on February 13, 2020