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Show Your Support for Atlantic Bluefin Tuna by July 15
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.
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