(Wild-caught from U.S. Atlantic)
Weakfish populations have been severely depleted by a combination of historical overfishing and other less understood factors. Weakfish populations are at an all-time low and continue to decline.
Atlantic Sea Trout, Gray Sea Trout, Squeteague
Weakfish may also be sold as Atlantic sea trout, gray sea trout and squeteague. Weakfish are available in the winter in the Southeast and in the spring and summer in the Northeast.
Environmental Defense Fund has issued a health advisory for weakfish due to high levels of PCBs.
Weakfish are a highly prized sport fish. They're also caught commercially in a mixed fishery with other Atlantic coast species, especially bluefish. While weakfish were historically subject to higher fishing pressure, management measures have helped dramatically. Unfortunately, this has not been sufficient to allow weakfish populations to recover.
Besides overfishing there seem to be additional factors affecting these populations, many of which are not understood. It is likely that these factors are increasing natural mortality of weakfish and inhibiting the species' recovery.
Weakfish populations are at an all-time low and continuing to decline. We recommend that consumers avoid purchasing weakfish.