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Show Your Support for Atlantic Bluefin Tuna by July 15

Show Your Support for Atlantic Bluefin Tuna by July 15

EcoWatch

EcoWatch has been reporting on the decline in population of bluefin tuna since the launch of its news service in October.

The Center for Biological Diversity reported that harvests of the imperiled tuna are more than double the legal limit and Western Atlantic bluefin tuna, which spawns in the Gulf of Mexico, have been reduced to 17 percent of 1950 levels.

Now, the Natural Resources Defense Council is spearheading a campaign to encourage people to speak out to help protect the giant fish and submit comments to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) by its July 15 deadline.

NOAA is currently considering major changes for managing Atlantic bluefin tuna, including the prohibition of surface longlines—a fishing practice that uses miles of line containing hundreds of baited hooks. For decades, surface longline fishing in the Gulf of Mexico has incidentally caught and killed spawning Atlantic bluefin tuna, an amazing fish that can swim almost 45 miles per hour and weighs up to 1,500 pounds, as well as more than 80 other types of non-target animals.

Bluefin tuna have even inspired a highly controversial television program on National Geographic called Wicked Tuna that follows a group of fishermen on their quest to cash in. As National Geographic's website put it, "When one bluefin can bring in as much as $20,000—they’ll do whatever it takes to hook up."

And that's exactly what the global fishing market is doing. Industrial-scale fishing vessels employing massive purse-like nets in the Mediterranean resulted in millions of dollars worth of bluefin tuna caught last June.

Pew Environment Group showed that due to high demand and increasing prices, thousands of bluefin worth millions of dollars were caught this season. In fact, so many bluefin were pulled in by French and Spanish vessels that they were ordered to stop fishing after just two weeks. To more clearly illustrate the severity of this issue, Pew Environment Group created an infographic to educate people about the Atlantic bluefin, discover why its population has declined and learn what must be done to help the species recover.

Thanks to the Center for Biological Diversity, Natural Resources Defense Council and Pew Environment Group for their continued effort in bringing this issue to the forefront. EcoWatch unites these voices to provide a thorough overview and accelerate solutions.

Visit EcoWatch's BIODIVERSITY page for more related news on this topic.

 

A plume of smoke from wildfires burning in the Angeles National Forest is seen from downtown Los Angeles on Aug. 29, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

California is bracing for rare January wildfires this week amid damaging Santa Ana winds coupled with unusually hot and dry winter weather.

High winds, gusting up to 80- to 90 miles per hour in some parts of the state, are expected to last through Wednesday evening. Nearly the entire state has been in a drought for months, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, which, alongside summerlike temperatures, has left vegetation dry and flammable.

Utilities Southern California Edison and PG&E, which serves the central and northern portions of the state, warned it may preemptively shut off power to hundreds of thousands of customers to reduce the risk of electrical fires sparked by trees and branches falling on live power lines. The rare January fire conditions come on the heels of the worst wildfire season ever recorded in California, as climate change exacerbates the factors causing fires to be more frequent and severe.

California is also experiencing the most severe surge of COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, with hospitals and ICUs over capacity and a stay-at-home order in place. Wildfire smoke can increase the risk of adverse health effects due to COVID, and evacuations forcing people to crowd into shelters could further spread the virus.

As reported by AccuWeather:

In the atmosphere, air flows from high to low pressure. The setup into Wednesday is like having two giant atmospheric fans working as a team with one pulling and the other pushing the air in the same direction.
Normally, mountains to the north and east of Los Angeles would protect the downtown which sits in a basin. However, with the assistance of the offshore storm, there will be areas of gusty winds even in the L.A. Basin. The winds may get strong enough in parts of the basin to break tree limbs and lead to sporadic power outages and sparks that could ignite fires.
"Typically, Santa Ana winds stay out of downtown Los Angeles and the L.A. Basin, but this time, conditions may set up just right to bring 30- to 40-mph wind gusts even in those typically calm condition areas," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Mike Doll.

For a deeper dive:

AP, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, Weather Channel, AccuWeather, New York Times, Slideshow: New York Times; Climate Signals Background: Wildfires, 2020 Western wildfire season

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, sign up for daily Hot News, and visit their news site, Nexus Media News.

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