Atlantic bluefin tuna are incredible fish. They grow to 10 feet long, weigh up to 1,500 pounds, and live as many as 40 years. They are warm-blooded, like mammals, and can regulate their body temperature in colder waters. Thus they are able to dive deeper than 4,000 feet and inhabit a large migratory range.
Despite these remarkable adaptive characteristics, bluefin are depleted, and surface longline fishing takes a large part of the blame. This wasteful fishing method uses lines that extend up to 40 miles with hundreds of baited hooks intended to catch commercially valuable species such as yellowfin tuna and swordfish. Surface longlines also unintentionally kill hundreds of tons of bluefin annually as well as more than 80 other species of nontarget ocean wildlife, including blue marlin, sharks, and sea turtles, in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Bluefin mortality is of particular concern in the Gulf, which is the only known spawning ground for the western Atlantic population of this species.
This summer, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Service, or NOAA Fisheries, will seek public comments on a new rule that could help stop the waste of Atlantic bluefin tuna and other nontarget species. This rule should encourage a transition to more-selective fishing methods, prohibit surface longlines in the Gulf to protect spawning bluefin tuna, and set a firm annual limit on bluefi n mortality in the surface longline fishery. You can help make this happen.
All you have to do is take a picture! Follow the five steps below to have your snapshot used along with thousands of others to create a photo mosaic of a bluefin tuna. The mosaic will be hand-delivered to NOAA Fisheries as an offi cial public comment.
* Note: By submitting this photo you give The Pew Charitable Trusts (“Pew”), its licensees, successor and assigns, permission to use all or parts of your photograph in connection with Pew's U.S. bluefin tuna work. The rights you give to Pew are royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide, and for use in any media, language or technology now known or later developed.
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