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Bluefin tuna protection is on the agenda for NOAA meeting by Benjamin Alexander-Bloch May 21,2012   |  Source: The Times-Picayune

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service is holding a public meeting today in Belle Chasse to discuss the future management of Atlantic bluefin tuna. It’s illegal to fish bluefin tuna in the Gulf of Mexico, the only known spawning area for western Atlantic bluefin, but part of an internationally set U.S. quota is used to cover bluefin caught accidentally by commercial boats trying to catch other fish.

While NOAA does not list bluefin tuna as warranting protection under the Endangered Species Act, NOAA officials have expressed concerns about the status of bluefin tuna and has listed it as a “species of concern.”

A sushi delicacy, the species often fetches astronomical prices in Japan. Earlier this year, a 593-pound bluefin tuna caught off northeastern Japan fetched about $736,000 at Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market. That’s $1,238 per pound.

The gathering at the Belle Chasse Auditorium from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. is the only meeting on the possible Gulf-related amendments to the management plan, officially called the “Consolidated Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan.” Meetings already have been held earlier this month in New Jersey and Massachusetts, and additional meetings will be held in North Carolina,


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Theme(s): Fisheries Resources.

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