Target: Jane Lubchenco, Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Goal: Commend the NOAA for implementing new rules for fishing bluefin tuna
The bluefin tuna is a remarkable fish that can live up to 40 years and swim up to 50 miles per hour. An adult bluefin tuna can weigh over 1,000 pounds and dive 4,000 feet beneath the surface of the ocean, growing to the size of a small car. Unfortunately, these amazing fish are among the most endangered large animals in the oceans. Poor fishing practices, a lack of appropriate regulations, oil spills, plastic, and other waste kill these spectacular fish and destroy their habitats. A previous ForceChange petition demanded measures to protect bluefin tuna from harmful fishing practices and new regulations from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have answered the call.
One of the bluefin tuna’s biggest threats is longline fishing, a type of fishing operation that lowers lines across a wide expanse of ocean–sometimes 30 miles long–and uses hundreds of hooks. Often, bluefin tuna are caught on these lines even though they are not the intended targets. These longlines are usually trying to catch different species and the bluefin tunas end up as “bycatch.”
The new rules made by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are aimed at lowering the number of bluefin tuna killed accidentally by longlines in the Gulf of Mexico and the Western Atlantic. Fisherman now cannot target bluefin tuna in these areas because they are endangered but the number of bluefin tuna killed as bycatch is alarming. The NOAA’s new rules for fishing will limit bycatch of bluefin tuna and also require fisherman boats to have video cameras constantly recording what is being caught by the longlines. These new measures have been well received so far and hopefully will encourage other countries to take similar steps to protect bluefin tuna and other marine life.
Thank the NOAA for recognizing the endangered bluefin tuna’s plight and attempting to remedy it.
Dear Jane Lubchenco,
Thank you for your part in the recently implemented rules concerning the protection of bluefin tuna. As you know, bluefin tuna are an incredible species and are also one of the most endangered large animals in the oceans. They deserve as much protection as we can give them, especially since we are to blame for their ongoing plight.
These new rules crafted by the NOAA will diminish the number of bluefin tuna killed as bycatch and allow the species a chance to recover. Hopefully other countries will see what the United States has done and follow suit with similar measures to protect marine life. Thank you for your efforts to save the endangered bluefin tuna from extinction.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Citron via Wikimedia Commons