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California Fishing Stocks Healthier, New Report Finds

— The nation's commercial fishing fleet landed more than 10 billion pounds of seafood last year. It

Aired 9/21/12 on KPBS News.

The latest report on the nation's fishing industry is more optimistic than it's been in years, and Southern California fisheries are enjoying their share of the bounty.

carried a value of $5.3 billion.

California Fishing Stocks Healthier, New Report Finds
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The National Fisheries Service report concludes that the increase in commercial fishing numbers and values is good news for an industry struggling with collapsing fish stocks.

The people charged with managing the offshore resources are bouyed by the news.

"Right here, right now, California has an abundance of healthy fish stocks," said Russ Vetter, director of the Fisheries Resources Division of the Southwest Fisheries Service. "And we need to decide, essentially, where do we want to go from here. How do we get the most value out of every fish that we bring to the dock?"

Tuna is no longer king in San Diego, but lobster, sport and aquaculture all contribute to a vibrant fishing industry.

Americans ate more seafood than people in every country except China.

The U.S. continues to be a major seafood importer, although the report finds Americans catch the fish, then send the seafood overseas for processing. That processed food comes back to this country to be sold to consumers.

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