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U. of Maine Research to Bolster Bluefin Tuna Management

A new study of western Atlantic bluefin tuna population data is expected to improve management practices and a valuable marketplace for fishermen from Maine to Texas.

Thousands of commercial and recreational fishermen capture the tuna, one of the strongest and fastest predators in the open ocean, off the East Coast each year.

The tuna is “among the most sought-after commercial fish in the world’s oceans,” University of Maine assistant professor Walt Golet said in a news release.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration awarded Golet, a research assistant professor with the School of Marine Sciences, more than $276,000 to lead a team of researchers who will collect and analyze updated the animal’s population data. The new data will help reduce uncertainties in assessment models that estimate the amount of fish in the fishery, which can help guide management practices and prevent overfishing, he said.

Golet was also awarded almost $300,000 from NOAA for a project to help bolster the industry. The research includes developing best practices for handling, particularly cleaning and chilling the fish, and outreach to improve consumer perceptions and markets.

Read the full story at Mainebiz

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