Pacific Bluefin Tuna
Earlier this year, several environmental groups filed a petition to list the Pacific bluefin tuna (PBT) as threatened or endangered via the Endangered Species Act (ESA). If passed, such a designation would ban all fishing and trade of PBT in America.
Such a listing would be an incredibly ineffective management policy. The PBT’s primary habitat, including their spawning grounds, are not located in US waters. PBT spend most of their lives along the coastlines of several Asian countries in the western pacific. An ESA listing of the PBT, only being able to apply to US waters, would have no effect at all on the global PBT stock.
In fact, impactful international conservation and management efforts have already been implemented. Recent studies have shown success in halting the decline of the PBT stock. This year, scientists have seen strong evidence of stock recovery. Since the most recent scientific data show the species is not at risk from extinction, listing the PBT as an endangered species in the US would be an erroneous designation.
While it is true there has been a decline in the global PBT stock in recent years, an ESA listing is not applicable.