Atlantic bluefin tuna can live about 40 years, and they mature late -- at around 9 years old. This long lifespan is impressive, but it also means that threats like overfishing, climate change and oil and gas developments take a large toll on populations.
It's obvious that these dwindling populations need help: In 2011 the feds identified bluefin tuna as a "species of concern." They fell short of protecting the giant fish under the Endangered Species Act but promised to revisit the decision in 2013 -- or as soon as information was available on the effects of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the largest oil spill in U.S. history.
Crude oils are highly toxic to developing fish embryos, and many pelagic fish were spawning in the northern Gulf in the months before oil spill's containment. We can't wait for more information.
The government has a new proposal for bluefin fishing management. And although it takes a step in the right direction, the proposal falls short on protections bluefin tuna need to make a comeback. Some very basic measures didn't make the chopping block -- including protecting all spawning grounds for the duration of the bluefin spawning season and requiring independent observers to verify reported data for all commercial fishing vessels.
Thankfully there's still a chance to put these necessary regulations into place. Please take action by urging the National Marine Fisheries Service to end overfishing of bluefin tuna through key fishery management measures.
September 11, 2013 Action Alert ID# 115
Add Your Voice To This Cause In A Matter Of Minutes >>