A report by NOAA in 2006 warned that “despite the implementation of domestic and international management measures, the status of Atlantic blue and white marlin has continued to decline. Currently, the status of sailfish and spearfish is uncertain. Atlantic white marlin has been identified as one of the most severely overfished species of any stock under ICCAT’s purview for the past four years, but nevertheless continues to be subjected to unsustainable levels of fishing mortality throughout the Atlantic.”
Supported by a study conducted in 2000 that showed a significant increase in the incidental catching of billfish such as blue marlin, white marlin, sailfish, as well as under-sized swordfish when using live bait, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has since prohibited the use of live bait fishing while using longlines in the Gulf of Mexico (65 FR 47214, August 1, 2000).
On Tuesday, the United States Coast Guard and NOAA seized nearly 8,000 pounds of illegally caught fish from the 62-foot fishing vessel Blue Fin in Dulac, Louisiana on Tuesday. The Dulac-based vessel Blue Fin crew was allegedly using live bait and was cited for other fishery violations approximately 90 miles off the Louisiana coast.
The catch and estimated pounds that was reported seized is as follows:
- 7,133 pounds of yellowfin tuna;
- 535 pounds of escolar (oilfish);
- 220 pounds of wahoo;
- 44 pounds of mahi-mahi.
The overall estimated price of the catch was more than $20,000.