Add The Atlantic Wolffish to the Endangered Species List

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Status: Current
Originally Posted: 28 February 2009

Add The Atlantic Wolffish to the Endangered Species List

From Ocean River Institute

Sign the online petition here.

The Atlantic Wolffish populations of the U.S. Atlantic Ocean waters are in such trouble that they should be listed under the Endangered Species Act. And the time to act is now, before the determination is made!


Trouble comes to Atlantic Wolffish in many forms: habitat destruction by trawling and dredging, overfishing, stressors of pollution and the bioaccumulation of toxins, and an inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms.

ESA listing will mandate creation of a comprehensive ecosystem-based management plan for not only wolffish, also for their ocean waters, the rocky bottom ecosystems and submarine deep canyon lands of the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary they inhabit.

“Based on all available science, the Atlantic wolffish are rapidly headed toward extinction in U.S. waters. This Petition demonstrates that listing the U.S. population of Atlantic as endangered under the ESA is not only consistent with the relevant legal criteria, but also necessary, but also necessary to prevent its extinction in U.S. waters.” Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) petition to National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) page 63

"In 2003, the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, a scientific research arm of NMFS, reviewed the status of the resource and concluded that Atlantic wolffish were ‘overexploited and in a severely depleted state.’” CLF petition to NMFS page 4

"Atlantic wolffish are seriously imperiled in U.S. waters. Over the last twenty years, the species has experienced dramatic declines in incidence and abundance as well as contracted range. The species is imperiled due to over utilization caused directly and indirectly by commercial and recreational fishing, habitat loss caused by fishing with destructive bottom trawl and dredging gear, and inadequacy regulatory measures.” CLF petition to NMFS page v

"The present lack of regulatory measures addressing the Atlantic wolffish in any fashion at all creates no incentives to avoid or to minimize its catch as bycatch or to protect its habitat or even educate the public about the peril of the species and action that could be taken by the public to reduce that jeopardy.”

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