Feds impose new rules to protect Bluefin tuna
NEW ORLEANS - New restrictions are being placed on fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic coast to protect the prized Bluefin tuna species from overfishing.
On Monday the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced the rules, which affect commercial fishing vessels and take effect in January.
Under the new rules, fishermen will be barred from the practice of using miles-long fishing lines in areas of the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of North Carolina during certain sensitive periods for Bluefin tuna.
Although Bluefin tuna are not considered an endangered species by federal regulators, they are viewed with concern and are the focus of international conservation efforts.
The fish can weigh hundreds of pounds and sell for thousands of dollars, mostly to feed the worldwide market for sushi.