Bluefin tuna escapes endangered species list

By the Associated Press | May 27, 2011 | 11:29 AM EDT

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Federal officials have decided to keep bluefin tuna off the endangered species list.

Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine says the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is turning down a petition from the Center For Biological Diversity seeking an endangered status for the giant, highly migratory fish.

NOAA officials were holding a news conference late Friday morning to discuss the decision.

The Arizona-based based Center for Biological Diversity claimed bluefin tuna is facing possible extinction because of overfishing.

But fishermen say the western Atlantic population is being fished at sustainable levels.