Federal government changes fishing rules to protect endangered tuna

A Swiss-based conservation group has said the sushi industry has pushed the bluefin tuna to near extinction. (CBSN)
A Swiss-based conservation group has said the sushi industry has pushed the bluefin tuna to near extinction. (CBSN)

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The federal government is changing some of the rules about how fishermen harvest tuna in an attempt to protect one of the species of the fish.

The National Marine Fisheries Service says the rule change is designed to steer fishermen who catch yellowfin tuna and swordfish via longline away from bluefin tuna.

Atlantic bluefin tuna are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Fishing boats sometimes catch them incidentally while targeting other species.

The fisheries service says the rule change will modify the way it handles distribution of quota transfers in the longline tuna fishery. The service says that flexibility will improve fishing opportunities while limiting the number of bluefin tuna that are incidentally caught.

The new rules go into effect on Jan. 28.

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