The Pacific bluefin tuna is one of the largest and fastest fish in the ocean. Its annual catch is worth millions. But Pacific bluefin are in trouble. Decades of overfishing, spurred recently by the growing demand for sushi, have caused the population to plummet by over 97 percent. That’s hovering near the lowest levels ever recorded.
Act now: Ask the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to support a moratorium on commercial Pacific bluefin fishing.
The science paints a bleak picture. An assessment conducted this year not only determined that Pacific bluefin are at just 2.6 percent of their unfished levels; the analysis also warned that the population would take decades to recover under current fishing regulations. With no good news on the horizon, it is time to take a stand and suspend all commercial fishing until proper management is put in place.
The United States, as a member of the two international management bodies that regulate fishing for Pacific bluefin tuna, has both the opportunity and the responsibility to act now to protect the species. Although U.S. fishermen have a low impact on the stock, catch from other areas in the Pacific Ocean are depleting the population. More than 95 percent of the bluefin catch is comprised of juveniles, some as small as 2 pounds. Many of the adults are caught where they spawn—a practice known to threaten reproduction and the future of the population.
Pew is calling on NOAA to support and advocate for this two-year international moratorium on commercial fishing for Pacific bluefin to give the population a real chance to begin rebuilding.
Join us in asking the U.S. government to protect the Pacific bluefin population and use its diplomatic leverage to encourage fishing nations such as Japan and Mexico to do the same.
Send your message now.