Help us Save Endangered Atlantic Bluefin Tuna from Extinction
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna are threatened with extinction from overfishing. Now the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service is considering changes in fishing policy, yet not all changes may benefit this population of enigmatic predators.
Bluefin tuna are the fastest swimming tuna, migrate thousands of miles and can grow over 1000 pounds. Bluefin tuna are the most coveted fish for sushi, and the increased demand is putting a bounty even on immature tuna in the Gulf of Mexico and Western Atlantic Coastline. Bluefin and other target fish are caught primarily using surface longlines off Gulf waters. Bluefin face serious threats because the Gulf of Mexico is the only known spawning area for this remarkable fish.
Surface longlines consist of thousands of baited hooks suspended from lines that stretch an average of 30 miles. Although tuna and swordfish are the desired catch, these longlines also catch and kills tons of untargeted animals as Bykill. These include endangered sea turtles, sharks and marine mammals including the severely depleted Western Atlantic bluefin tuna. Although regulations have provided partial relief for some marine wildlife, surface longlines in the Gulf continue to incidentally catch and kill significant numbers of undersized, unwanted, and protected species.
Just modifying surface longlines won’t reverse this disturbing trend. Better fishing restrictions and gear changes are desperately needed to prevent extinction of our sensitive marine willdife as well as valuable commercial species.
Help us ACT NOW and tell NOAA to increase protections for Bluefin tuna and other sensitive marine wildlife in the Gulf.