We are giving thanks and celebrating a big win with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency’s announcement last week of new protections for bluefin tuna. But, to really celebrate we need the other half of the win/win that we’ve been working towards in our “Switching Gears to Save Bluefin Tuna” Campaign: funding to help fishermen transition to more sustainable fishing gear.
It has been four and a half years since BP’s oil first affected both tuna and fishermen. There is strong evidence that the oil directly impacted bluefin tuna’s health and spawning. One of the first restoration projects proposed for Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) funding was a program to help fisherman transition to more sustainable gear, but it has yet to be funded.
So, as we celebrate, let us keep our eyes on the win/win. We will keep working to make sure fishermen get the gear transition project they so need.
Harry Lowenburg is a Campaign Organizer with GRN.