The Gulf of Mexico fisheries are some of the most productive in the world. However, overfishing, bycatch, and habitat destruction have led to a rapid decline in the health of many Gulf fish populations. Sustainable management of our fisheries under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act have led to rebounds in fish populations, but the Magnuson-Stevens Act is under attack. Healthy Gulf works with fishers, chefs and others to support management that will ensure a positive future for our Gulf fisheries. Our fisheries also face economic and ecological threats from factory fish farms in the ocean. We are working to help defeat executive and legislative efforts to promote risky finfish aquaculture projects in the Gulf.
The Gulf of Mexico is home to 15,000 different types of sea birds, dolphins, whales, sea turtles, shellfish and fish. Many of these species are at risk due to accidental catch and death by fishing gear, reduced sources of food, oil spills, noise associated with oil and gas exploration,, the introduction of non-native species and pollution. Healthy Gulf works to protect the Gulf’s marine wildlife through advocacy, litigation and organizing.
Shallow and deep water corals, mangroves, oyster reefs, seagrasses and other marine habitats offer areas for fish and other creatures to thrive, sustain local fishing communities and protect coastal communities from storms and flooding. Pollution, petrochemical development, and the acidification of our oceans due to climate change are degrading water quality and destroying these precious habitats. Harmful algae blooms like dead zones and red tides, which are caused by nitrogen and phosphorus pollution, continue to plague our coasts. Sustaining these important habitats is one of the greatest challenges we face and Healthy Gulf is working to protect and restore these habitats. We work to reduce the pollution entering the Gulf, protect important fish habitat, such as spawning areas and deep water corals, and advocate for greater regulation of the petrochemical industry.