Fishing Blue Fin Tuna into Extinction
Humans have feasted on fish for as long as history can trace. The waters in which these fish are caught seem to be an overly abundant healthy environment that can relied on until the end of time, but what happens when that assumption is proved wrong? The truth is that no matter how vast and abundant the resources of our oceans may seem, we can indeed tap out the resources that our forefathers have relied on for more than thousands of years. Blue fin tuna are some of the world’s most amazing fish that roam the massive oceans, yet in recent decades, commercial fishing of these wonderful fish have caused the species’ population to spiral down at an alarming rate. Due to a large lack of regulation and ignorance to comply with quotas being set we may see the day where the beautiful blue fin tuna have been completely wiped out of our oceans. In the documentary The End of The Line, commercial fishing is exposed as an extremely over exploited practice that is quickly draining life from our seas. The film thoroughly describes exactly how this has happened. The fishing industry across the world has had a huge revolution of its own starting in the mid-20th century. These fishing vessels have increased their technology to the point where the fish don’t stand a chance. Commercial fishing went completely un-monitored until the early 1990’s and there are still huge signs of overfishing still occurring. The biggest problems this film stresses are the capacity of catches increasing dramatically and the lack of awareness amongst the public. The political decisions being made for tuna are too near sighted which may lead to a population drop that the tuna population will not be able to recover from. In the May 19, 2010 edition of Nature David Cyranoski wrote an article titled “Pacific tuna population may crash at any time”. Cyranoski writes about the lack of confidence in research behind blue fin numbers in the pacific. The article warns that with improper fish being caught could lead to Pacific blue fin tuna to drop to the numbers of their Atlantic cousins. This is mainly due to 70% of the tuna being caught is still under one year old and 90% being under two years of age. These numbers do not allow the tuna to keep up the populations needed for a healthy environment. Also Cyranoski touches on the tactics of fishing the Pacific blue fin spawning grounds. Cyranoski quotes Toshio Katsukawa, a fisheries expert at Mie University in Tsu City, Japan. Katsukawa says about fishing at spawning grounds “If things go on like this, the Pacific [bluefin] populations will be the first to collapse [before the Atlantic stock]," This is a critical quote because earlier in the article it is stated that the Atlantic blue fin population is only 15% of its historical population that was sustained before commercial fishing was started in the Atlantic. Blue fin tuna are not the only species being impacted by the increase of commercial fishing. The huge nets used to catch these tuna also entrap other vulnerable species including different varieties of threatened sharks and sea turtles. Many of these animals get caught in the nets and die as they are being brought in. This is a problem because these animals have showed similar population decline to those of the tuna being fished. This means that as we come closer to over exploiting blue fin tuna populations, we may also be losing other valuable sea dwellers that simply get caught in nets they are not being targeted for. However there are improved net designs in the making that can provide ways for sharks and turtles to be able to find an exit before it is too late. On an April 10, 2010 Barbara Block gives a talk on blue fun tuna for TED. In this presentation she first describes the great reputation tuna have had with civilizations for thousands of years. She displays many ancient coins and pottery dating back as far as four thousand years ago that feature blue fin tuna....
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