A decision about whether some species of the Atlantic blue-fin tuna belongs on the endangered species list is underway. And the process will demonstrate that protection is not easy.

The National Marine Fisheries Service is initiating a status review for the Atlantic blue-fin tuna and will consider protections under the Endangered Species Act.

“The decision comes in response to a petition to protect the tuna, which are in decline because of overfishing and habitat degradation, including from the BP oil spill,” writes Anne Mostue for Maine Public Broadcasting Network.

The Center for Biological Diversity also announced plans to file suit against the National Marine Fisheries Service for failing to respond to a petition that seeks protection for blue-fin that spawn in the Mediterranean and the Gulf of Mexico, both in serious decline in recent years.

The center “works through science, law and creative media to secure a future of all species, great or small, hovering on the break of extinction.” The center contends that  the welfare of human beings is linked with nature. Diversity has intrinsic value that goes unrecognized in many economic transactions.

The center blames the growing sushi market.

Meanwhile the Maine congressional delegation opposes the listing, suggesting that Maine fishermen already go to great lengths to protect endangered species and should not have to shoulder the costs when other nations won’t abide by the endangered listing.

For the status review, the agency will consider best available scientific and commercial information and conservation efforts – before making a final decision.

A species is listed if it is threatened or endangered due to any of the following five factors:

  1. present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range;
  2. overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes;
  3. disease or predation;
  4. inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; and
  5. other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence.

It’s in the interest of fishermen to protect stocks, or otherwise they lose their livelihoods. Consumers must choose wisely – or favorite foods will vanish.

The Pacific albacore tuna has no relation to the Atlantic blue-fin. All St. Jude tuna is Pacific albacore.

Photo of Atlantic blue-fin tuna,  courtesy of NOAA

This entry was posted in Sustainability, tuna news and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Endangered?

  1. Fantastic web site, I hadn’t come across stjudetuna.wordpress.com before during my searches!
    Carry on the good work!

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