Action timeline

May 24, 2010 –The Center filed a formal scientific petition to protect Atlantic bluefin tuna under the federal Endangered Species Act.

September 14, 2010 – The Center formally notified the National Marine Fisheries Service of our intent to sue the agency for failing to respond to our bluefin petition.

September 16, 2010 – The Fisheries Service announced the bluefin tuna may warrant Endangered Species Act protection.

October 18, 2010 – A scientific study was released estimating that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico killed 20 percent of the juvenile western Atlantic bluefin tuna in the area at the time.

November 30, 2010 – The Center launched our Bluefin Boycott campaign, immediately mobilizing thousands of people across the globe in a pledge not to eat or serve bluefin tuna sushi.

April 8, 2011 – The Center delivered to the Obama administration the names of more than 22,000 people from 104 countries who have pledged to boycott bluefin tuna to help save this imperiled fish from extinction. The signatures were submitted to the National Marine Fisheries Service.

June 1, 2011 – The Fisheries Service published its rule stating that it would not protect the Atlantic bluefin under the Endangered Species Act because bluefin were not endangered as long as there is a high degree of compliance with total allowable catch levels.

June 30, 2011 – The Fisheries Service announced the highest limits allowable under international law for the U.S. catch of Atlantic bluefin tuna.

August 10, 2011 – The Center requested that the United States seek protection for Atlantic bluefin under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Flora and Fauna (CITES), the major international treaty on endangered species.

October 18, 2011 – An analysis of eastern Atlantic bluefin tuna trade data showed harvests of the imperiled fish to be more than double the legal amount, calling into question the National Marine Fisheries Service's June decision not to protect the species.

January 5, 2012 – A single bluefin tuna caught off northeastern Japan fetched a record 56.49 million yen, or about $736,000, in the first auction of the year at Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market.

November 8, 2012 – The Center called on delegates to cap catch limits for Atlantic bluefin tuna.

June 20, 2016 – With the Pacific bluefin tuna at dangerously low population levels, the Center and a coalition of individuals and groups petitioned the Fisheries Service to protect the fish under the Endangered Species Act. The Pacific bluefin tuna population had declined more than 97 percent since fishing began.

Bluefin tuna photo courtesy Flickr/Tom Puchner