The American Bluefin Tuna Association (ABTA), formerly the East Coast Tuna Association, was formed to protect the Atlantic bluefin tuna fisherman's traditional access and quota share. Since, 1981, we have sought to improve Atlantic bluefin tuna science and to advocate for sustainable fishery management practices throughout its entire habitat in the Atlantic Ocean and adjacent seas.
Today, ABTA's mission has expanded to include all species of tuna that are harvested in the U.S. Atlantic including bluefin, bigeye, albacore and yellowfin tuna. This more comprehensive approach is warranted given that many tuna fishermen will fish for more than one or possibly all these species of tuna at various times during a fishing season. These fisheries are linked by important considerations relating to the health of the pelagic ecosystem that supports them. In view of the fact that these are highly migratory species whose habitat is the entire equatorial, subequatorial and temperate zones of the Atlantic Ocean, these species are also linked by the need for enlightened management of these fish stocks by the U.S. and all other harvesting nations in the Atlantic.
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus thynnus)
Atlantic Yellowfin Tuna (Thunnus albacares)
Atlantic Bigeye Tuna (Thunnus obesus)
Atlantic Albacore Tuna (Thunnus alalunga)
ABTA’s mission is to safeguard the present structure of these fisheries to ensure US fishermen’s traditional access to the fish, in accordance with the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) established by the Highly Migratory Species Management Division of the National Marine Fisheries Service. ABTA is a watchdog that supports or seeks to support changes in the FMP to ensure that commercial and recreational rod and reel fishermen, commercial harpoon fishermen and charter boat owners are always able to fully utilize their traditional share of the fishing quota.
Photo: Gary Stokes/Getty Images