NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The National Marine Fisheries Service will study whether the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has hurt the bluefin tuna population to the point that the fish should be placed on the endangered species list.
The agency says the Center for Biological Diversity's San Francisco office provided substantial scientific information to back up its request to protect bluefin tuna under the Endangered Species Act.
The agency says it will make its recommendation by May 2011 - a year after the petition was filed.
Bluefin are believed to spawn only in the Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.
Oil from the busted BP well polluted the Gulf after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank in April.