WASHINGTON (CN) – The U.S. blue fin tuna fleet may retain two medium-to-giant tuna per day January through March 2012 or until the total first quarter subquota of 23.1 metric tons is caught.
This is a one fish per day increase over the default limit set under international fishing treaties. The agency said the two fish limit is appropriate because in 2011, under the same limit, the fleet caught only 34 percent of its quarterly subquota.
The retention limit applies to the entire range of the bluefin tuna except the Gulf of Mexico.
In June of this year, despite a world-wide decline in catch from nearly 19,000 tons in 1964 to just over 1,900 tons in 2009 of the world’s premium species for such-grade fish, the agency declined to list the bluefin tuna as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.