• Reuters

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The Atlantic bluefin tuna has gained protections from overfishing in the Gulf of Mexico and the waters off North Carolina under a federal rule to better regulate a species coveted by sushi lovers.

The regulations, which were published on Tuesday and will take effect in January, restrict the use of certain long-line fishing gear in parts of the Gulf of Mexico during April and May, when the species spawns in the region.

Off North Carolina, regulators are closely monitoring fishermen and tightening enforcement of quotas for the species.

High numbers of bluefin tuna have been fatally snared in fishing lines set to catch swordfish, regulators said. Many of the dead bluefin tuna were being dumped back into the ocean under current regulations.

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