Weakfish – U.S. Atlantic
Weakfish are a species of fast growing fish found from Massachusetts to Florida, although they are most commonly found between New York and North Carolina.They are highly dependent on estuaries for food, shelter and spawning.
Weakfish populations are depleted throughout their range and it is thought that increased predation and other natural factors, and not fishing pressure, are the main reasons for their low numbers. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission manages Weakfish and individual states implement management measures.
Historically, the majority of Weakfish landings came from commercial fisheries in North Carolina, Virginia, and New Jersey. Recently, recreational harvest from Mid-Atlantic states has equaled or exceeded commercial harvest. Most Weakfish are caught commercially in gillnets, which have a low to medium impact on the seafloor depending on where in the water column they are placed, and moderate levels of bycatch.
Because of the very low abundance of Weakfish, this species is rated red.
This fish may have high levels of PCBs that could pose a health risk to adults and children. More info here about PCBs in Weakfish.