Sportfishing isn't just a tiny, harmless nibble on saltwater-fish populations, according to a new analysis of federal data.
For species flagged for special concern in U.S. waters, sportfishing accounts for 23 percent of the harvest, says Felicia Coleman of Florida State University in Tallahassee. The percentage is even higher for certain regions. In the Gulf of Mexico, recreation takes 64 percent of the catch for troubled fish stocks, Coleman and her colleagues report in an upcoming Science.
Coleman dates her concern about the topic to her years on the federal council that regulates fishing off the Gulf Coast. "It was clear that recreational fishing was an enormous ind