Commercial fishing boats

Commercial Fishing

Science

Managing fisheries sustainably is an adaptive process that relies on sound science, innovative management approaches, effective enforcement, meaningful partnerships, and robust public participation. Effective fishery management starts with accurate scientific information about fish and fisheries. In fact, U.S. law requires that fishery managers use the best science available to make fishery management decisions.

Commercial Landings

We maintain a national database of U.S. commercial fishery landings data dating back to 1950. Updated weekly, this dataset includes landings made by the domestic fishing fleet in the United States. Landings made by U.S. vessels in territories and foreign ports are not included. You can search annual landings data by region, state, and species.

Learn more about commercial fishery landings 

Foreign Trade (Imports and Exports)

We maintain a foreign trade database dating back to 1975 that allows users to summarize U.S. foreign trade in fishery products. Users can summarize the kilos and dollar value by year, product, country, and type of trade. This data is purchased from the Foreign Trade Division of the U.S. Census Bureau, which is responsible for compiling information submitted by importers and exporters to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Learn more about foreign trade

Market News

Fishery Market News is a joint federal/industry program that provides accurate and unbiased reports depicting current conditions affecting the trade in fish and fishery products. Market News takes the pulse of the market. Other services might try to diagnose the market, but Market News merely observes, records, and reports on current conditions. With offices located in Boston, Long Beach, New Orleans, New York, and Seattle, you can find the a wealth of information in Market News including nationwide reports and as well as reports from Japan.

Learn more from Market News 

Fisheries Information System

To support sound science and effective stewardship of our living marine resources, we work collaboratively through partnerships to provide every fisheries data stakeholder with easy access to comprehensive information on the nation's fisheries. We work to continuously improve the quality, timeliness, and integrity of fishery dependent data collection, storage, and dissemination programs.

Fishery Products

We conduct an annual survey of all seafood processors that operate in the United States. This is the only comprehensive survey of the U.S. seafood processing industry and is the source of all regional and national statistics describing this portion of the industry. Reports generated from these statistics include Fisheries of the United States and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization's yearbook—Fishery Statistics-Commodities. Data is also used for calculating annual U.S. seafood consumption for determining the value-added margins and consumer expenditures related to commercial fisheries and in the assessment of the impacts of changes in fishery management plans and the impacts of natural disasters. Industry trade organizations and members of the industrial and financial communities use the data to make business decisions affecting the fishing and seafood industries.

Learn more about our annual survey fishery products

Stock Assessments

Our scientific stock assessments are critical to modern fisheries management. Using data gathered from commercial and recreational fishermen and our own on-the-water scientific observations, a stock assessment describes the past and current status of a fish population or stock, answers questions about the size of the stock, and makes predictions about how a fishery will respond to current and future management measures.

Learn more about our scientific stock assessments

Cooperative Research

Cooperative research provides a means for commercial and recreational fishermen to become involved in the collection of fundamental fisheries information to support the development and evaluation of management options. In cooperative research, industry and other stakeholders can partner with NOAA Fisheries and university scientists, in all phases of the research program, including survey/statistical design, conducting of research, analysis of results, and communication of results.

Learn more about our cooperative research efforts

Economics and Social Science

We use economic and social science research to evaluate the benefits and costs of different management actions, to prioritize management needs, and to create policy design that maximizes societal benefits from ocean and coastal resources in a sustainable way. Commercial fisheries economic analysis includes:

  • Estimating harvest of target species and marketable bycatch species.
  • Predicting bycatch of protected species.
  • Assessing fishing capacity and the cost of reducing overcapacity.
  • Predicting entry/exit into fisheries.
  • Determining the contribution of commercial fishing to local, state and national economies. 

Learn more about our economic and social science research