After an extensive scientific review, NOAA recently announced that Atlantic bluefin tuna currently do not warrant species protection under the Endangered Species Act.
NOAA is formally designating both the western Atlantic and eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean stocks of bluefin tuna as “species of concern” under the Endangered Species Act. This places the species on a watchlist for concerns about its status and threats to the species.
NOAA’s status review, released with today’s decision and peer-reviewed by The Center for Independent Experts, indicates that based on the best available information and assuming countries comply with the bluefin tuna fishing quotas established by ICCAT, both the western and eastern Atlantic stocks are not likely to become extinct.
NOAA conducted the status review of Atlantic bluefin after determining on Sept. 21, 2010, that a petition for listing under the ESA from a national environmental organization warranted a scientific status review.
NOAA has committed to revisit this decision by early 2013, when more information will be available about the effects of the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill, as well as a new stock assessment from the scientific arm of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, the international body charged with the fish’s management and conservation.
To read the status review report on Atlantic bluefin tuna, the federal register notice and other information on bluefin tuna, please go to: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/stories/2011/05/bluefin_tuna.html