The following is from the environmental themed advice column EarthTalk®, by the Editors of the non-profit publication E/The Environmental Magazine, that well be regularly featuring here on CLs Green Community.
Dear EarthTalk: Are Atlantic bluefin tuna really about to go extinct? What are the contributing factors and what is being done to try to head off this tragedy? — Edward Jeffries, Norwalk, CT
According to many marine biologists, Atlantic bluefin tuna, one of three closely related bluefin tuna species, are in danger of going extinct within a decade if the governments of the world cant come together to ban catching and/or selling the lucrative species. The non-profit International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which maintains an international Red List of threatened species, considers the Atlantic bluefin Critically Endangered given that its population numbers have declined by upwards of 80 percent since the 1970s. Even recently instituted stricter restrictions on allowable catch levels may be too little too late for the huge migratory fish.
The trouble began in the 1960s when fishing boats using purse seines and long lines to pull in fish for the canned tuna market harvested huge numbers of juvenile Atlantic bluefin. This highly efficient method of fishing decimated generations of Atlantic bluefin, constraining their reproductive capacity accordingly.