Bluefin in Danger


    Overfishing has been a major problem for Bluefin tuna populations in the past, and in the present it is taking form in tuna farms.  Tuna farms are actually just giant pens that wildTuna Farms caught tuna are fattened in until they are big enough to be sold.  These farms first developed in the Mediterranean off the coast of Spain, but they have now spread out into the rest of the Mediterranean.  Quotas have been put in place by ICCAT (International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna) to limit the number of tuna harvested, however countries that are not members of ICCAT do not have to abide by these quotas.  ICCAT members have also been found to make unreported and underreported catches of Bluefin.
    Another problem affecting Bluefin populations is tBluefin caught in the net of a tuna farm - courtesy of NOAAhat many of the tuna harvested are juveniles which haven't been able to spawn yet.  The minimum legal size for captured Bluefin may be 6.4 kg, however Atlantic Bluefin tuna don't reach spawning age until they are at least 30 kg.


    The Bluefin is currently listed as an endangered species.  Due to its highly migratory nature, international efforts must be taken to protect the species.  ICCAT is the main group responsible for managing the Atlantic Bluefin populations, however it must improve its efforts if the tuna population is to rebound.  ICCAT is working to reduce the number of juveniles caught and lower quotas on the number of tuna that fisheries are allowed to harvest.