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Tuna Consumption Must Stop to Save a Great Species

Danny Quintana - Expert Click
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May 16, 2017
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From Los Angeles to Japan, host Sasha Issenberg - journalist and author of The Sushi Economy - follows the trail of the threatened Pacific bluefin tuna to find out if our appetite for sushi just might end up devouring this diamond of the sea. (Munchies)

For thousands of years' tuna has been a prized delicacy in many different cultures, and since 1970 industrial fishing has brought this product to dinner tables the world over and in so doing nearly wiped out the various species of this magnificent creature. Limits have been placed on Atlantic Bluefin fishing by European authorities and this program has been successful to a certain degree, but the species is still highly endangered and poached on the high seas by rogue fishing operations. The popularity of sushi among Western nations has added to the pressure on many different fish species while fishing trawlers have increased in size and ability to catch everything in sight.

The Global High Seas Marine Preserve, a non-profit dedicated to saving the oceans, is putting on emphasis on educating on the public on how dire the situation for top-of-the-food-chain predators and encourage them to demand seafood products only from sustainable sources. This is a two-fold problem; getting the consumers to express their will to merchants and making sure the products are indeed from sustainable sources.

GHSMP has launched a campaign, 50 Sustainable Seafood Cities Campaign, to encourage municipal authorities in the largest U.S. cities to mandate that only seafood products from sustainable sources in their jurisdictions. Local environmental groups are being recruited as GHMSP seeks to educate the public in these cities how consumer power can alter the behavior of the major industrial fishing enterprises.

The amazing Atlantic Bluefin Tuna, Thunnus thynnus, is described by National Geographic as "one of the largest, fastest, and most gorgeously colored of all the world's fishes. Their torpedo-shaped, streamlined bodies are built for speed and endurance. Their coloring - metallic blue on top and shimmering silver-white on the bottom - helps camouflage them from above and below. And their voracious appetite and varied diet pushes their average size to a whopping 6.5 feet (2 meters) in length and 550 pounds (250 kilograms), although much larger specimens are not uncommon.

"Unfortunately for the species however, bluefin meat also happens to be regarded as surpassingly delicious, particularly among sashimi eaters, and overfishing throughout their range has driven their numbers to critically low levels.

Read the rest at Expert Click

Related: 14-Year-Old Gulf of Mexico Angler Reels in Massive 835-Lb Bluefin Tuna (Global News)

Related: Mexican Tuna Fleet Has Not Yet Completed Bluefin Tuna Catch: CONAPESCA (FIS)


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