Petition to Stop Wasteful Discard of Bluefin Tuna
The proposed 2011 bluefin fishery Specifications recently published by NMFS will lead to the lowest quotas ever seen in the directed commercial and recreational bluefin fisheries. This is due, in large part, to the dead discards in the longline fleet. The agency is proposing to penalize all traditional commercial and recreational fishermen by deducting the longline discards off the top of the overall U.S. quota instead of requiring the longline fleet to stay within its own allocation. Furthermore, the proposed rule fails to provide disincentives that limit or control longline discards now and in the future, allowing for an open-ended accumulation of dead discards by that fleet in the years to come.
This year, the bluefin longline dead discard estimate is 160 metric tons or approximately 1,500 individual fish. Given the growing bluefin stock size here in the western Atlantic and the increase in longline effort, interactions between longline gear and bluefin tuna will continue to increase; in turn, the levels of dead discards and the impacts on the traditional user groups will only get worse. Unless steps are taken now to reduce the bluefin bycatch, traditional user groups will be seriously impacted!
ROB J BUCKLER wrote:
The long line bycatch of Bluefin Tuna is an insignificant drop in the ocean
when contrasted with the indiscriminate, wholesale, and illegal harvesting of
Western Atlantic Bluefin, 90% of which ends up in Japanese sushi restaurants.
The REAL reason our quotas are reduced every year is because no other country
abides by international quotas, which have no enforcability. Now’s the perfect
time to trade international aid to Japan for a sane approach to tuna
conservation bfore it’s too late.