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Fish Aff (ADI)

Fish Aff (ADI)

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Published by: AffNeg.Com on Jan 08, 2009
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US tuna populations have declined 90% because of overfishing by US vessels

Greenberg 7

(Paul, a W. K. Kellogg Foundation Food and Society Policy fellow, “A Tuna Meltdown”, The New York Times
Section 14CY; Column 0; The City Weekly Desk; OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR; Pg. 19, November 4th)
IT is tuna time in New York. I don't mean it's time for local bistros to put salade nicoise on their menus. I mean it's
the time when real, live tuna -- some of them eight feet long -- enter our waters en route to their spawning grounds
in the Gulf of Mexico. Here in the miraculous roiling currents of the Mudhole, 17 miles southeast of Manhattan, and
further out at hotspots like the Dip, off Montauk, tuna hunt squid and speed at 30 miles per hour alongside whales,
porpoises and sea turtles. It is the wildest display of unbridled nature a New York sport fisherman like myself can
ever hope to see. But for those of us who think tuna fishing is an undeniable rite of fall, things are looking deniable.
Last month, the National Marine Fisheries Service, which manages America's wild fish, called for a halt to catching
Eastern Atlantic bluefin, the largest tuna species that visits our shores. ''Continued overfishing of this seriously
depleted stock has convinced me,'' said Bill Hogarth, the service's director, ''to seek a moratorium on this fishery for
three to five years to give the stock time to begin recovery.'' That I and my fellow sport fishermen played a part in
depleting the bluefin is without doubt. Sport fishing accounts today for roughly a fifth of bluefin mortality in United
States waters and in the past many of those fish were simply photographed and thrown in the trash. But matching
these bad practices is a world that has grown voracious for tuna and a fishing industry that has answered that
demand with equal voraciousness. In the last 30 years, commercial fishing has reduced bluefin populations by as
much as 90 percent, according to some estimates. In the heyday of commercial tuna fishing, vessels called ''purse
seiners'' equipped with advanced sonar and spotter planes located and scooped up entire schools of small tuna.
Today, the bluefin that remain are pursued by boats called long-liners that set out miles of line and tens of thousands
of baited hooks. A long-line does not discriminate what it catches. Most devastating of all, large-scale commercial
long-lining is practiced with vigor in the Gulf of Mexico, the bluefin's breeding ground. Unfortunately bluefin will
continue to perish even if Mr. Hogarth manages to convince the 44 other nations that have signed onto a tuna-
conservation treaty to agree to a moratorium. Long-liners will merely dump any bluefin they catch -- usually dead at
that stage -- back into the water to avoid fines and turn to mining other prey.

Arizona Debate Institute 2008


Russell’s Lab

Fish Aff

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