End Longline Fishing:
Take Endangered Sea Turtles and Bluefin Tuna Off the Hook

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Originally Posted: 26 August 2009

End Longline Fishing:
Take Endangered Sea Turtles and Bluefin Tuna Off the Hook

From Sea Turtle Restoration Project

Ending deadly longline fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. Comment period ends August 31.

Longline fishing vessels troll the furthest reaches of the earth’s oceans for tuna, swordfish, halibut, and other sought-after catches for a growing international market. Behind the boats stretch lines of hooks that can reach 30 miles long, baited with squid or small fish. But fish are not the only valuable creatures hauled on board these vessels. The hooks can snag other unintended catch, among them albatrosses and other birds.

Longline fishing has been described as "clearcutting our ocean floors."


Complete online form:

  1. Click here. (Rule Number: 0648-AX85- Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna and Swordfish Management Measures and HMS Permit Requirements)
  2. Enter your first & last name under "Submitter Information"
  3. List "Private Citizen" as your "Organization"
  4. Write your own, or cut & paste the sample comment letter under "Public Comment or Submission"
  5. Click submit

And/Or better yet, make direct contact:

Margo Schulze-Haugen
National Marine Fisheries Service SF1
1315 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
fax (301) 713-1917


Help jumpstart a new campaign to end longlining in the Gulf of Mexico.

Now we can save 1,000 or more sea turtles every year, hundreds of marine mammals, and protect vanishing bluefin tuna and swordfish by ending a deadly longline fishery in the Gulf of Mexico. Take the first step by calling for a Gulf Longline closure by Monday, August 31. See sample letter and links below.

Urge the National Marine Fisheries Service to end the use of pelagic long-lines to fish for swordfish and yellowfin tuna in the Gulf of Mexico that captures and kills as many as 1,000 sea turtles every year. The fishery is also deadly to the disappearing bluefin tuna, which spawns in the Gulf. You agency has determined that this Atlantic longline fleet also discarded 11,823 swordfish, 1,345 bluefin tuna, 34,611 sharks, 611 blue marlin, 744 white marlin, 321 sailfish in 2007, the vast majority of which were dead or dying. With more than 40 percent of the long-line fishing effort concentrated in the Gulf of Mexico, eliminating long-lining in this area will stop this wasteful and destructive bycatch.

The closing of the longline fishery in the Gulf of Mexico should be given full consideration in the new proposals that would increase the numbers of breeding and juvenile endangered bluefin tuna that long-line fisherman can kill and sell. Given the severely depleted status of these magnificent fish, the fact that the long-line fishery is being allowed to kill any of these fish while they are reproducing is unacceptable. Instead of increasing the number of bluefin tuna fishermen in the Gulf are allowed to kill and sell, the National Marine Fisheries Service should eliminate the use of long-line gear in the Gulf of Mexico.

Thank you for everything you do for animals!

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