The National Marine Fisheries Service has proposed new measures to protect one of the ocean’s most threatened species of fish, the Atlantic bluefin tuna, from one of the most lethally indiscriminate types of fishing gear, the pelagic longline. Longliners fishing for swordfish and yellowfin tuna typically hang hundreds of hooks from a 30-plus mile mainline, resulting in large amounts of incidental catch, or bycatch, of non-target species.
Amendment 7 to the Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan, now out in draft form, is a good step forward, but it needs to go farther to reduce bycatch of bluefin and other vulnerable species. The public has until December 10th to provide support for the amendment and, most importantly, to back alternatives to strengthen it.
Follow this link to read more and take action to help bluefin and all the other species caught as unwanted bycatch on pelagic longlines.
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