Earlier today, the Marine Conservation Institute and Mission Blue released SeaStates, the first ever national ranking of how well different U.S. states and territories protect their ocean resources. The full report is available online and is an important read, but can be summarized in 5 words: “Most states aren’t doing enough”.
The gold standard for the protection of marine resources is no-take marine reserves, areas of the ocean where no fishing or oil/gas extraction is permitted. Decades of research on marine reserves worldwide have shown that they usually have more fish, bigger fish, and more species of fish than environmentally similar areas (often adjacent to the reserve border) where fishing is allowed. In other words, when you don’t kill fish, more of them are alive.