Stop Importing Illegally Caught Bluefin Tuna

Tuna_Fishing_Boat_Ocean71

Target: Eileen Sobeck, NOAA Assistant Administrator for Fisheries

Goal: Ban the importation of Bluefin tuna to the U.S. and raise taxes on catching Bluefin off the West Coast.

Bluefin tuna are facing extinction due to overfishing. These fish are one of the most highly prized species in the oceans because of their size and flavor, which has led to them being frequently caught and killed for use in sushi and high-end restaurants. Because of their value to the restaurant industry, Bluefin have become one of the most overfished and at-risk fish populations in the world.

The Bluefin tuna comes in three types: Atlantic, Pacific, and Southern. The Atlantic Bluefin has been historically at-risk and has been of widespread concern for years as fishing boats, especially with trawling nets, are devastatingly effective at obliterating populations across the ocean. Recently, even the Pacific Bluefin population, thought to be generally safer and healthier, has seen a population decline of 96 percent across the ocean.

Much of this is due to the popularity of the Bluefin in sushi and Japanese cuisine, but another major factor is the U.S. West Coast. Fishing on the coast of California is uniquely destructive because the tuna migrate to the West Coast for spawning. They are most often caught and killed as adolescents before they can even breed, creating an obviously destructive and unsustainable cycle.

Sign this petition to push for a ban on importing Bluefin tuna and a raise on taxes to decrease fishing along the West Coast. The population of this valuable species is too fragile to wait any longer.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mrs. Sobeck,

The Bluefin tuna is one of the most overfished and at-risk fish species in the world. Its popularity in restaurants around the world has led to massive, mostly unrestrained efforts to catch as many as humanly possible. While the economic reasons for this are perhaps understandable, this tragedy cannot continue and requires an outside force to take a stronger stand in protecting the vulnerable population.

A large part of the problem is fishing off the West Coast of the United States. Fishing on the coast of California is especially destructive because the tuna migrate to the West Coast for spawning. They are most often caught and killed as adolescents before they can even breed, creating an obviously destructive and unsustainable cycle. The effect of this has been to destroy even the historically stable Pacific Bluefin population, which has seen a 96 percent depletion in recent years.

I am writing to ask you to push to protect this species from population collapse. No one group can completely solve this problem, but we can be a part of the solution. A ban on imported Bluefin tuna to the U.S. would reduce demand and consumption of fish caught illegally in countries where the government takes a more lax stance on protecting endangered species. An accompanying raise in taxes on catching Bluefin tuna off the U.S. West Coast would decrease the amount killed as juveniles and protect the population in the long run. The population is not sustainable at the present course, and something must be done now before it is too late.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Ocean 71

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One Comment

  1. MUST END THE EXTINCTION ON THE GREAT BLUE FIN TUNA NOW.

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