Join in helping to stop the accidental bycatch of high-mercury and critically endangered Bluefin tuna in the Gulf of Mexico

By April 15, 2011Got Mercury?

Every year over 1,500 bluefin tuna and hundreds of endangered sea turtles are caught by industrial longline fishing and tossed overboard, dead and wasted in the Gulf of Mexico.

End Gulf of Mexico Longlining

Decades of overfishing have nearly destroyed the bluefin tuna populations and many experts predict a complete crash of the bluefin stocks. Not only are bluefin tuna highly endangered, they also contain high amounts of mercury. One of the largest of the tuna species, bluefin tuna often contains mercury levels nearly triple that of the more common yellowfin and skipjack tuna.

Despite being high in mercury and on the brink of extinction, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is proposing a new rule that would allow bluefin tuna to continue to be caught indiscriminately by industrial longline fishing fleets.

The current proposal simultaneously takes away fishing opportunities from recreational harpoon fishermen and gives longliners a free pass by increasing their bluefin tuna quota allocation. This is not an acceptable solution for the imperiled bluefin nor the sea turtles caught by indiscriminate longline hooks.

The Sea Turtle Restoration Project and allies have already called for an outright end to surface longline fishing in the Gulf, whose unpredictable hooks kill sea turtles and juvenile bluefin before they mature. Please click here to take action by April 28 to help save the Bluefin tuna