Effects of Overfishing Tuna

Tuna makes for a good sandwich, sushi, sashimi, and steaks, but in recent years it has become one of the most over-fished species on Earth, according to National Geographic.  Tuna range in size from approximately three feet to 15 feet in length and up to 1500 pounds.  They can swim up to speeds of 43 miles per hour.  I will be discussing the importance and use of the species as well as the effects that overfishing has on their migration, spawning, and exploitation of stock.  I will specifically talk about the three species of bluefin tuna-Pacific, Atlantic, and Southern, as well as albacore, yellow fin, big eye, and skipjack.  Each of their statuses range from Least Concern to Critically Endangered.  Before humans began over harvesting in the 1970’s, tunas only major predators were orcas and sharks. Many Japanese cultures practice different rituals for tuna, including auction wars, because it is a staple food in the country.  Humans have become accustomed to the easy access affordable seafood.  Overfishing was not a problem until a few decades ago.  Although some conservation measures are being taken, including the management of fisheries and policies and laws against overfishing, they have not developed well.  I will look at ways that humans can help resolve this dilemma.

~LS

National Geographic Infographic on Tuna Fishing

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2 thoughts on “Effects of Overfishing Tuna

  1. Have you thought about including the effects of the radiation leaking at Fukushima and whether or not it will have any impact at all on any of the species you listed? I would be curious to know.

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