In the United States, fisheries programs are under the jurisdiction of the Fisheries and Habitat Conservation (FHC) division of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The primary function of fisheries, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is to restore, protect and preserve the health of fish and wildlife resources in the United States. The agency partners with other federal agencies, state agencies, private landowners, tribes, industry and the public to achieve its goals of healthy fish and wildlife, healthy habitats, healthy people and a healthy economy.
The U.S. Department of State established the Fisheries Program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1871 to address three objectives. There was growing concern over a decline in fishery resources, information about the status of U.S. fisheries was lacking and there was an emerging need to define and protect the fishing rights of the nation.
Fisheries conduct activities such as performing stock assessments, mapping habitat usage and identifying diseases and pathogens. They also keep track of population levels, monitor responses to changes in the environment and utilize genetics to evaluate population structure.
Information distributed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says that close to 400 aquatic species in the United States either have, or need, special protection in some part of their natural habitat.