Bluefin Tuna: New Endangered Animal for 2012

All any of us should ever want or hope for from our lives is to leave the world better than how we found it.  That should be everyone’s ultimate goal.  Protecting creatures that cannot protect themselves is part of making a better world.

With its meat used in the preparation of sushi, the fishing industry continues to harvest 60,000 tons each year.

Overfishing continues despite repeated warnings of the current precipitous decline. In 2007, researchers from the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT)—the regulators of Atlantic bluefin fishing—recommended a global quota of 15,000 tonnes to maintain current stocks or 10,000 tonnes to allow the fisheries recovery. ICCAT then chose a quota of 36,000 tonnes, however surveys indicated that up to 60,000 tonnes was actually being taken (1/3 of the total remaining stocks) and the limit was reduced to 22,500 tonnes. Their scientists now say that 7500 tonnes is the sustainable limit. In November, 2009 ICCAT set the 2010 quota at 13,500 tonnes and said that if stocks were not rebuilt by 2022 it would consider closing some areas.

In 2010, Greenpeace International added the northern bluefin tuna to its seafood red list.

On March 18, 2010 the United Nations rejected a U.S.-backed effort to impose a total ban on Atlantic Bluefin tuna fishing and trading. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) vote was 68 to 20 with 30 European abstentions. The leading opponent, Japan, claimed that ICCAT was the proper regulatory body.

In 2011, the USA‘s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) decided not to list the Atlantic bluefin tuna as an endangered species. It is still considered a “species of concern,” but NOAA officials claimed that the more stringent international fishing rules created in November 2010 would be enough for the Atlantic bluefin tuna to recover. NOAA agreed to reconsider the species endangered status in 2013.

The easiest way to help is to not support any sushi restaurant that sells Atlantic Blue Fin and tell them why.

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