A favorite friend of mine at Duke is Dr. Andre Boustany; a marine biologist who is part of the intrepid Tag-A-Giant team and Project GLoBAL. Tag-A-Giant is an initiative made up of an incredible group of ocean scientists from across the U.S. who work with policymakers, fishermen, and the public to maintain and rebuild sustainable bluefin tuna populations–a species facing commercial extinction due to demand for sushi.
But this is a tragic story: Western Atlantic bluefin have declined by 82% since 1970 and it’s estimated there are only remaining 41,000 remaining reproductively mature individuals:
YOU can do something that matters to protect these magnificent giants.
Next March, an upcoming vote on a proposal will take place to stop the international commercial trade of Atlantic bluefin tuna. Unfortunately, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has also proposed a measure to increase the number of bluefin tuna that can be harvested from U.S. waters. (Proposed Rule, RIN 0648-AX85, Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Season and Retention Limit Adjustments). At a time when the world is paying attention to a species in crisis, our country is not exactly setting a good example. Of course, this a complicated issue: Catch limits are presently not being met, but the discrepancy is due to regional changes, an altered population structure, and overall stock depletion. Regardless, the solution is assuredly not to increase pressure on a dwindling stock.
The Pew Environmental Group has issued a letter asking NMFS to extend the comment period on their proposal, consider additional scientific research, and allow the international community to make important decisions regarding the future of management. I hope readers and bloggers alike will join me in signing Pew’s important letter and telling NMFS to slow down this misguided proposal.
Links to this Post
- Losing the Lions of the Ocean | Deep Sea News | December 15, 2009