ORONO — A scientist from the University of Maine will lead a new consortium that focuses on the sustainability of highly migratory fish species such as tuna and sharks.

The Pelagic Ecosystem Research Consortium will be headed by UMaine’s Walt Golet. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is providing $1.6 million to support the effort.

The University of Maine says the consortium will focus on subjects such as reducing accidental catch of highly migratory fish, and increasing the understanding of their life histories.

Other institutions involved in the consortium are Nova Southeastern University and Mote Marine Laboratory in Florida and Auburn University in Alabama.

Golet says study of the fish, which include economically valuable species such as swordfish, can help improve their conservation.

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