PNS Daily Newscast - September 24 

Update: A second accuser emerges with misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavenaugh. Also on the Monday rundown: We take you to a state where more than 60,000 kids are chronically absent from school; and we'll let you know why the rural digital divide can be a two-fold problem.

Daily Newscasts

Gulf Oil Spill Threatens the Bluefin Tuna

April 25, 2011

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Every spring, the bluefin tuna uses the northern Gulf of Mexico as spawning grounds, at the exact time and place the BP spill happened a year ago. Before the spill, the sushi craze may have been the fish's biggest threat. But now, something called "long-line fishing" is putting the bluefin on the survival hook, according to Tom Wheatly, director of the Gulf Surface Longline Closure Campaign, Tampa.

"It's not very targeted. What that means is, they don't just catch yellowfin tuna and swordfish, they catch a lot of other species - including bluefin tuna during their spawn, which we think needs to stop, for sure."

Wheatly has described long-lines as a "curtain of death" that catches any living creature unfortunate enough to bite a baited hook.

Dave Bard with the Pew Charitable Trust says they are focusing on trying to change commercial long-line fishing habits.

"The threat that's been facing tuna for years now is these surface long-lines."

The spawning periods are critical because the bluefin population isn't exactly booming, Bard adds. The population has declined 80 percent in the past decade.

Les Coleman, Public News Service - FL