November 8, 2010
The Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Challenge:
Sustaining a High-Value Migratory Species in a Highly Impacted Ocean
The precipitous decline of Atlantic bluefin tuna illustrates the overwhelming challenge of managing a high-value and highly migratory species in a highly impacted ocean. In addition to international fishing pressure from directed harvest and incidental take, the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico may further affect an already depleted Western Atlantic population. For years, international management entities have struggled to develop effective conservation strategies for Atlantic bluefin tuna. For example, during the 2009 negotiations of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, parties considered a scientifically recommended catch quota of zero; and in 2010, parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna considered listing bluefin tuna as an endangered species. On the domestic stage, the difficulties of resurrecting former population sizes, despite ever-increasing harvest restrictions, led to a petition by the Center for Biological Diversity that has spurred the National Marine Fisheries Service to consider listing the species under the Endangered Species Act.
In this panel discussion, experts discussed the current state of bluefin tuna and domestic and international efforts to conserve the species. The panelists identified the key challenges associated with managing this high-value, highly migratory species and potential approaches to overcome them.
- Lee Crockett, Director, Federal Fisheries Policy, Pew Environment Group
- Shana Miller, Director, Tag-A-Giant Foundation
- Robert Hayes, General Counsel, Coastal Conservation Association
- Rich Ruais, Executive Director, American Bluefin Tuna Association and Blue Water Fishermen’s Association
- Dr. Guillermo Diaz, National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA
- Jordan Diamond, Assistant Director, Ocean Program, Environmental Law Institute
Guillermo Diaz- 2010 Atlantic Bluefin Tuna
Lee Crockett- Protecting Bluefin Tuna: Domestic and International Solutions
Audio recording (.mp3) [97.7MB]
Audio recording with slideshow (.wav) [163 MB]
Click here for more information on ELI's Ocean Series.
The 2010 Ocean Seminar Series is made possible by generous support from the Naomi and Nehemiah Cohen Foundation