A recent video showing an Italian longline boat killing what appears to be hundreds of juvenile swordfish has been making its way around the internet, causing quite a stir. Many of the swordfish are not more than a few pounds in size. The video has gotten the attention of animal rights groups as well as fishing organizations. One group that voiced its concern is The Billfish Foundation (TBF), which has played an active role in the international management of swordfish, tuna and marlin.
According to TBF’s website, the organization has forwarded the video along with its expressed dire concern to the U.S. State Department. TBF also has reached out to the lead U.S. negotiator for highly migratory fish, to the head of the National Marine Fisheries Service in Washington, D.C., to the NOAA International Office and to the Chair of the U.S. Advisory Committee for the International Coalition for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, which currently manages Atlantic stocks of swordfish.
“The excessive killing of the juvenile swordfish filmed in the video reflects a complete disregard for conservation, the future jobs dependent upon healthy swordfish stocks and the sacrifices made by U.S. interests to help recover the stocks of North Atlantic swordfish. This area needs to be identified and closed to protect juvenile swordfish, protect US interests and the future livelihood of the fishery,” TBF writes.
We’ve also started a thread in the Strictly Billfish Forum. If you would like to join the conversation, visit www.bdoutdoors.com/forums/strictly-billfish.ï»¿