The government isn't putting the fish on the endangered species list—even though most evidence suggests it should
When government PR folks want to limit media coverage of a decision, they commonly announce it late in the day after deadlines have passed for media outlets. If they really don't want us to know about something, they wait until as late as possible on a Friday.
That this news release came on a Friday before a long weekend tells you everything you know about how the officials at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) really feel about their recent announcement that bluefin tuna did not warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act.
"Based on careful scientific review, we have decided the best way to ensure the long-term sustainability of bluefin tuna is through international cooperation and strong domestic fishery management," said Eric Schwaab, assistant NOAA administrator for NOAA's Fisheries Service.
One wonders what science they consulted. The Union for the Conservation of Nature, the world's oldest environmental network, has declared the Atlantic bluefin "critically endangered." In 2010, the United States delegation to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species apparently thought there was enough science to come out strongly to have bluefin listed on Appendix I, meaning that international trade would be banned. That effort was shot down by the intense lobbying efforts of Japan.