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Protect Bluefin Tuna from Longliners
by Sam Hudson
bluefintuna NOAA
Courtesy NOAA Fisheries
Courtesy NOAA Fisheries

The International Game Fish Association wants recreational anglers to help end the waste of bluefin tuna in the U.S. and ensure that surface longliners are held accountable for incidental bycatch. Take three minutes and check out the IGFA-sponsored petition that asks anglers to urge NOAA Fisheries to strengthen their current proposed rules.

The best way to do that without affecting sportsmen is by reducing longline bycatch and protecting bluefin spawning rounds.

“Recreational anglers are leaders when it comes to conserving fish and their habitat,” sys IGFA’s Conservation Director Jason Schratwieser, “and we’re hoping having recreational anglers sign on this petition will help NOAA Fisheries realize better protection is needed for this species.”

Surface longlines kill thousands of gamefish, including blue and white marlin, sailfish, sharks and bluefin tuna. In 2012, the commercial fishery threw back dead nearly 25 percent of the U.S. bluefin quota. The IGFA is calling on NOAA Fisheries to help reverse this trend which should mean increased fishing opportunities for recreational anglers. 

“Thanks to email and social media it is easier than ever for an angler to spread the word and support this measure,” Schratwieser continued. “It only takes 30 seconds to sign the petition and share it on Facebook or email. Showing fisheries managers that sportsmen are engaged and concerned about our resources is critical to enacting change.”

The IGFA's goal is to receive 25,000 signatures — let's do our part to help. Anglers can view the full proposed rule here.