AUSTIN (AP) — A state agency that helps manage blue fishing is fighting a bill that would give fish biologists more power to protect their species.
The Blue North Fisheries Association is suing the Texas Legislature to prevent the Legislature from moving forward with a measure that would let the agency, which includes fisheries biologists and other scientists, have more control over what’s caught in Texas waters.
The agency has been critical of some changes in the Legislature’s fisheries bill, including its move to require a state permit to fish in the Gulf of Mexico.
It’s one of the biggest fisheries threats to blue fin tuna and the Gulf’s global trade.
Blue fin tuna, which are found in a broad range of waters, are also a major threat to white shark and shark fin, as well as other fish species.
A similar bill has been in the works in Texas for years.
The state Fish and Wildlife Commission has been a key player in the debate, which has included many local and state officials.
Blue fin tuna have been on the decline for decades and the species’ populations have been in decline for years, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
Blue fishermen, some of whom are native to the Gulf, are concerned that a new law will give the agency too much power and potentially harm the health of blue fin and white shark populations.
Blue fishing groups argue that the fish-control bill could lead to more regulation and pollution in the waters, and that its inclusion could threaten fisheries already struggling.
The fish-management bill has already been passed in the Senate and has the support of Republican Gov.
Greg Abbott, who supports it.