Spotlight: bluefin tuna on the verge

Photo by Tom Puchner

Growing up to 10 feet long and up to 1,400 pounds, with retractable fins and a bullet-shaped body for faster speed, bluefin tuna are among the largest, fastest , most wondrous migratory finfish in the world. They’re also one of the most prized and pricey fish for sushi lovers around the globe.

Thanks to booming consumer demand and overfishing in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, bluefin tuna stocks have plummeted to what scientists and researchers say is the point of collapse. It’s been a quick trip to decimation for this species — bluefin tuna wasn’t fished much commercially until the 1950s, and was so unpopular as late as the 1970s that it was often just bothersome bycatch sold for pet food.

The group that sets bluefin tuna fishing quotas,  ICCAT, is holding its annual meetings next week. Advocacy groups, scientists and others are pushing for drastic cuts in the quotas.

Meanwhile, as Scientific American reports, the tiny Mediterranean principality of Monaco has submitted a formal bid to the UN under CITES, asking that bluefin Continue reading “Spotlight: bluefin tuna on the verge”