Bluefin Tuna Under Serious Threat from Overfishing


Pacific bluefin tuna, a popular item at sushi restaurants around the world, is in trouble.

According to a study from Pew Charitable Trusts, its numbers have dropped an astounding 97.4% from pre-fishing levels. Further, if dramatic protection action is not taken soon, it might never recover.

The report’s authors are calling for a complete ban on commercial fishing throughout the Pacific Ocean. They say that without such action, bluefin tuna has only a 1% chance of recovering in the next 20 years. In fact, the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service is currently considering whether or not to add Pacific bluefin tuna to the endangered species list, which would make fishing them illegal in U.S. waters.

The industry is currently worth 100’s of millions of dollars and is dominated by vessels from the United States, Mexico, and Japan. It won’t be easy to enact a ban, but if action doesn’t happen soon, we can kiss this once plentiful tuna source goodbye.

You can do your part to help our world’s fisheries by avoiding Pacific bluefin tuna, and only choosing sustainable options when purchasing seafood.

Nithin is an eecosphere Impact Mill and freelance writer who focuses on cultural, economic, and environmental issues in developing countries with an aim at building channels of communication and collaboration around common challenges. He alternates between a home in California and working on social projects in Africa and Asia.