Assessment Summaries and Trends

Stock assessments are fundamental to the sustainable management of our Nation’s fisheries. They represent the best scientific information available used to determine the status of fish stocks and guide the setting of harvest regulations that prevent overfishing and attain optimum yield from our Nation’s fisheries. NOAA Fisheries utilizes its national network of data collection and stock assessment programs in collaboration with its partners in each management area, to conduct assessments that are appropriate for each fish stock or stock complex.

NOAA Fisheries and its partners conduct an average of 185 assessments each year, with over 85 of these are stocks included on the Fish Stock Sustainability Index (FSSI), an index used to measure the performance of commercially and recreationally important fisheries. The cumulative number of FSSI stocks that have assessments considered to be adequate based on their timeliness and modeling approach has continued to increase since 2012, and reached an all-time high at the end of FY2015.

Stock Assessment Trends

Recent and projected assessment activity for Federally-managed stocks and stock complexes included on the Fish Stock Sustainability Index (FSSI) through the end of FY2015. The number of FSSI stocks with assessments considered to be adequate based on their timeliness and modeling approach is used to track performance of the NOAA Fisheries national stock assessment enterprise.

Fish Assessment Results

Stock assessments provide estimates of stock’s abundance (spawning biomass or reproductive output) and fishing mortality rate (F) relative to the targets (BMSY) and limits (FLIM) set for these quantities. The plot below shows the relative size of fish populations and fishing mortality for federally managed fish stocks with the most recent available information in the Species Information System (SIS) Database, which is the central repository for regional and national fish stock information across NMFS program offices and includes stock assessment results and related information used to determine stock status. As seen in the graph below, as of 2015, the majority of fish stocks are located in the green quadrant, which means that they are not experiencing overfishing and have a relative biomass near or above target level.

Species Information System (SIS)

NOAA Fisheries Office of Science and Technology collects and stores fish stock assessment results and related information used to manage the nation’s fish stocks in the Species Information System (SIS) Database.

The Species Information System (SIS) Public Portal provides easy access for everyone to view and download summaries and results of the most recent stock assessment.

2018 National Fish Stock Assessment Summaries

The National Fish Assessment Reports provide the most-up-to date summaries on the status of NOAA Fisheries assessment activities for federally-managed fish stocks, including FSSI and non-FSSI stocks. Below are quarterly summaries for the current fiscal year. Please visit the National Fish Assessment Reports Archive for previous years’ updates.

Quarter 2 – (January – March, 2018)

Quarter 1 - (October - December, 2017) Summary Report and Appendices


Links to Regional Stock Assessments