Quiz: Tuna are a threatened species. Which is #1
Blackfin ___ Yellowfin ___ Albacore ___ Bluefin ___ Skipjack ___
If you answered Bluefin, you’re right. Did you know the latest scientific assessments paints a bleak future for the Pacific bluefin tuna, a sushi lovers’ favorite, whose population has dropped by more than 97%?
According to a draft of the International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific Ocean, the current population of Bluefin Tuna is estimated at 2.6 percent of its “unfished” size. Overfishing continues despite calls to reduce catches to allow the species to recover. In some areas, bluefin tuna is harvested at triple the levels considered to be sustainable. Stocks of all three bluefin species — the Pacific, Southern and Atlantic — have fallen drastically over the past 15 years as demand for the luscious, buttery pink-to-red fleshed fish has soared globally.
Seven of the 23 commercially fished tuna species, including bluefin, northern albacore, bigeye and yellowfin, are overfished or depleted. An additional nine species are on the brink of being overfished, this reported by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. In fact, many scientists believe that if the population of Pacific bluefins drops much further, it may no longer be economically feasible to fish for them. At that point, they would be considered commercially extinct. Friends, the evidence is strong. We’re loving Tuna to death. That’s why we need to support organizations like The Environment Defense Fund who are working hard to find and lobby solutions for rebuilding the fish stocks. We’re all in, so when you buy our products, a portion of receipts, between $2-$5.00 per transaction goes to the EDF. Please help us or go on-line to the EDF web site.
More About Tuna
Tuna are remarkable and impressive wild animals – sleek, powerful, and made for speed. Their torpedo-shaped bodies streamline their movement through water, and their special swimming muscles enable them to cruise the ocean highways with great efficiency.
The Atlantic bluefin can reach ten feet in length and weigh as much as 1500 pounds (more than a horse). Their specialized body shape, enables them to swim over 40 miles per hour and they can swim incredible distances as they migrate. Some are born in the Gulf of Mexico, cross the entire Atlantic Ocean to feed off coast of Europe, and then return to the Gulf to breed.
These extraordinary marine animals are also integral to the diet of millions and are one of the most commercially valuable fish. The majority of the market is made up of four species: skipjack, yellowfin, bigeye and albacore. Sadly, as tuna harvesting methods have improved, conservation and management has not evolved as quickly. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, most tuna stocks are fully exploited – meaning there is no room for fishery expansion. Some are already overexploited – with a risk of complete stock collapse.