Save the Bluefin

By Guido Trombetta on 7:18 AM ,
Bluefin Tuna
©Greenpeace

Many species of whales are struggling for their own survival on this planet, but at least the public opinion is aware of the situation thanks to environmental associations like Greenpeace, WWF or Sea Shepherd. There is however another critical situation that involves a wonderful inhabitant of our oceans, which unfortunately is much less acquainted. This post is infact my little effort to contribute to the knowledge of this problem.
Let's start from the protagonist: the Bluefin Tuna.

The Bluefin Tuna is one of the greatest wonder of the oceans. Sadly the stupidity and incapability of setting limits to his own greed have led men to transform this:

Bluefin Tuna
into this:
Bluefin Tuna
photo PA

My friend John LoGioco from SaveTheBluefin.com has defined it "the ocean's most decorated gladiator, a supreme ocean master, a wonderful masterpiece of nature.." and infact Bluefin tuna may just be the coolest fish on the planet.
They are huge, weighing more than 800kg and attaining 3m in length. Unlike most fish, tuna have evolved to be warm-blooded and can heat their bodies up to 20° C (36° F) warmer than the surrounding water allowing them to hunt from the tropics to near-polar seas, while maintaining the capacity to accelerate as fast as the sports cars that emulate their streamlined shapes. This added warmth infact helps a tuna’s muscles work faster and more efficiently. Tuna consume as much as 5% of their body weight daily and must continually swim with their mouths open to force water over their gills, supercharging their blood-rich muscles with oxygen.

SeaWayBLOG has always been a photoblog so let the images speak for themselves about the majesty of the Bluefin. Here three pictures from National Geographic
Bluefin Tuna
©National Geographic/John Anderson

Bluefin Tuna
©National Geographic/Brian J. Skerry

Bluefin Tuna
©National Geographic/Brian J. Skerry

Unfortunately for them, they are also delicious to eat, to such an extent that in four decades of overfishing, the western north Atlantic population (stock) has been driven to just 3% of its 1960 or pre-longlining abundance - a decline of 97% that means an extreme danger of slipping into extinction.
While it has been replaced by some more common species like the Yellowfin in the canned tuna industry, Bluefin is an icon of Japanese cuisine in particular, being their crimson flesh a centrepiece of sushi plates. However, it's clear that the current situation is critical and we have to act immediately to avoid a disastrous loss.
One thing you can do right now is to become a proud member of the SaveTheBluefin community signing here, contributing to share the knowledge.


Some pictures from Greenpeace:
Bluefin Tuna
©Greenpeace/Gavin Newman

Bluefin Tuna
©Greenpeace/Marco Carè

Bluefin Tuna

Bluefin Tuna
©Sutton-Hibbert/Greenpeace

Bluefin Tuna
(c) Greenpeace/Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert

Some useful links and interesting reading:
  • Save the Bluefin a social network aimed to share the knowledge about the critical situation of the Bluefin Tuna
  • ICCAT The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, an inter-governmental fishery organization responsible for the conservation of tunas and tuna-like species in the Atlantic Ocean and its adjacent seas.
  • Atlantic Bluefin Tuna - Severity of Decline and its Causes info and facts by Bigmarinefish.com
Some more pics:
Bluefin Tuna
© Lionel Flageul
Bluefin Tuna
Bluefin Tuna