The Trump administration on Tuesday chose not to list the Pacific bluefin tuna as an endangered species, rejecting a petition by the largest global conservation group that the U.S. is a member of, with France, South Korea, Australia, and several other countries.
(From The Washington Examiner) — The Commerce Department’s National Marine Fisheries Service announced the decision after a 12-month review of the request that started under the Obama administration.
In response, environmentalists are organizing an international boycott of sushi restaurants, decrying what they say is the startling reversal of the agency’s original intent to list the tuna under the Obama administration.
The agency said that it looked at all factors affecting the bluefin tuna’s habitat, and based “on the best scientific and commercial data available … and after taking into account efforts being made to protect the species, we have determined that listing of the Pacific bluefin tuna is not warranted,” the agency said in a notice published in the Federal Register.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature had petitioned the U.S. government to list the tuna after assessing “the status of Pacific bluefin tuna and categorized the species as ‘vulnerable’ in 2014, meaning that the species was considered to be facing a high risk of extinction in the wild,” the notice read.
The species of tuna “is not an endangered species throughout all or a significant portion of its range, nor likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range,” the Commerce Department notice read.
The agency said species classifications are “not equivalent” between the international conservation organization and the U.S.’s endangered species laws. “Thus, when a petition cites such classifications, we will evaluate the source of information that the classification is based upon in light of the [Endangered Species Act’s] standards on extinction risk and threats discussed above,” it said.
But environmentalist are not buying the Trump administration’s review, saying it is obvious that the bluefin population is facing heavy pressure from the fishing industry.
“If the paychecks of fishery managers and federal officials were tied to the status of this marvelous creature, they would have done the right thing,” said Carl Safina, president of the Safina Center and a scientist specializing in the plight of the bluefin tuna. He made his remarks in a joint statement with the Center for Biological Diversity.
Read the fulls story here: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/sorry-charlie-trump-rejects-bid-to-list-tuna-as-endangered/article/2630971