It’s the fastest – and at 1000lbs one of the largest – fish in the sea. It takes eight years to mature, can live for over three decades and is a natural wonder in that it is warm-blooded. And the world’s ‘smartest’ animal wants to eat it into extinction.
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna are an incredible animal, but the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) affirmed in October 2009 that Atlantic bluefin tuna stocks are declining dramatically, by 72% in the Eastern Atlantic, and by 82% in the Western Atlantic. The reason for this is overfishing and the solution, of course, stop fishing for an endangered species!
This sounds like common sense – this is a species on the verge of extinction, so let’s stop killing it. But the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna is the foundation of one of the world’s most lucrative commercial fisheries. It’s popularity as part of the Japanese Sashimi Sushi trade means that it carries a high price – one specimen reached an incredible £80,000 at a Tokyo fish market. And where such high profits (and greedy scum) are involved common sense tends to be thrown out of the window.
So despite Monaco formally recommending Atlantic Bluefin Tuna for an international trade ban on October 16th, 2009 and European officials, led by the French ecology minister, increasing pressure to ban the commercial fishing of bluefin tuna internationally at the beginning of 2010; on March 18th, 2010 – at the general assembly of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) – governments rejected any trade bans for Bluefin Tuna.
For a smart animal our leaders can be pretty dumb 😦
Thankfully the Steve Irwin, flagship of the Sea Shepherd fleet is on the way to the Mediterranean to defend Bluefin Tuna colonies. Click here to find out how YOU can support this vital campaign.