NOAA Fisheries is initiating a status review for the Atlantic bluefin tuna in response to a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity to list the fish as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
NOAA Fisheries has reviewed the information submitted by the Center with the listing petition along with commercial and recreational fisheries data, publications and results of studies, and has determined that the petitioned action may be warranted.
This 90-day finding that a petition under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to list a species contains "substantial information" that the petitioned action may be warranted; it is not a listing for Atlantic bluefin tuna. The finding is the first step in a prescribed process for responding to every petition filed with NOAA Fisheries to list a species under the ESA. An affirmative 90-day finding is required if the petition presents sufficient information to meet criteria specified in the Act.
NOAA Fisheries asks for documented information for use in the status review, such as descriptions of current or past distribution, abundance, population condition and structure, and details on any ongoing conservation efforts. The agency is also accepting the names of recognized experts who could serve as peer reviewers for the final status review report on Atlantic bluefin tuna.
A full explanation of information sought can be found in the Federal Register.
A determination on whether a listing is warranted is due in May 2011, a year after the date of the petition, upon completion of a comprehensive status review.
Go to http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/fish/bluefintuna.htm for a copy of the Federal Register Notice, Center for Biological Diversity petition, information on the ESA petition and listing process, and links to more information on current management of Atlantic bluefin tuna.