Potential Bluefin Ban Draws Fire

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

CapeCod Online reports that last week’s decision by the National Marine Fisheries Service to review a petition (filed by the Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity) to list the Atlantic bluefin tuna as either threatened or endangered drew a harsh response from State senators John Kerry and Scott Brown, and U.S. Reps. Barney Frank, John Tierney and William Delahunt.

“This decision comes at the worst possible time for our fishermen,” Kerry wrote in a press release protesting the decision.

He said the federal government should be working on a meaningful international agreement to stem rampant overfishing by European countries instead of focusing on the domestic fishery, which has been tightly regulated for decades.

The congressional delegation argued that the state’s fishermen are already under regulatory pressure to bring back stocks of cod, haddock and flounder and can’t afford to lose such a valuable species. Bluefin tuna are highly prized by the Japanese sashimi and sushi market and can net fishermen thousands of dollars per fish.

“We should be looking at ways to help our fishermen get back on their feet “… instead of burdening our already-struggling fishing industry with even more job-killing regulations,” Brown wrote in the press release.

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