The bigeye tuna is one of the largest and most valuable species of tuna and is considered a delicacy in sushi markets around the world.
Nearly 40 per cent of the world’s bigeye tuna is caught in the western and central Pacific Ocean, where international fishing fleets have been overfishing the population for more than a decade.
Scientists are calling for a 39 per cent reduction in catch to make the fishery sustainable.
In response to this recommendation, more than 25 governments from around the world, including the US, agreed in December to reduce catches of bigeye tuna.
However, just two months after committing to reduced US catches, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has issued a proposal that, if enacted, would allow the US to increase its catches of bigeye tuna in the western and central Pacific by more than 80 per cent.
Not only would this action thwart Pacific-wide conservation efforts for bigeye, but it also would undermine the US leadership role in international efforts to sustainably manage fish stocks in the western and central Pacific.
The public has until 28 February to urge NOAA to reverse course on this proposed rule.