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Atlantic Bluefin Tuna

Powerful Essays
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna

The Atlantic bluefin tuna, Thunnus thynnus is a sleek, fast-moving giant that once lived efficiently in the world's oceans for millions of years. This marvel of evolution has endured countless hardships of climate change, predators, and shifts in prey populations, however, nothing compares to the pressures placed on the bluefin by the fishery today. It is a species in dire need of preservation.

The Atlantic Bluefin tuna cruise the coasts of the Northern Atlantic and migrate as far as the southern coasts of Brazil. Weighing as much as 1,500 pounds, growing up to 15ft in length, and swimming as fast as 50 miles per hour, these fish are built for speed and endurance. (WWW. site, cnie.org) Living as long as 30 years, they reach sexual maturity at approximately eight years and almost exclusively breed in the Gulf of Mexico waters. Spawning is a necessity that involves a community of bluefin and results in a relatively small number of surviving offspring. Once mature, because of their size, bluefin tuna have relatively few predators.(Kumai,1998) Prior to the 1960's this population was estimated to be as large as a quarter of a million, however with the introduction of international interests in canned tuna, the population suffered severely. Today, over 90 percent of the estimated stock has been depleted, and the relentless fishing pressure continues, prompted by the demand of the Japanese market.(Safina,1998)

Fishermen throughout the world are attracted to the bluefin because of its extremely high value. In the beginning, bluefin were fished primarily for canned food purposes, and possessed little intrinsic value within the economic market. Unfortunately this is presently not the case due to minimal supply...

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Safina, Carl. Song for the Blue Ocean: encounters along the worlds coasts and beneath the seas. 1st ed. New York, Henry Holt, 1998, xviii.

Sissenwine, Micheal P., Pamela M.; Powers, Joseph E, Scott, Gerald P., A commentary on western Atlantic bluefin tuna assessments. Transaction of the American Fisheries Society, v.127, n.5, Sept. 1995, 838-855.

Smith, Timothy K. The big rush: a giant bluefin is fought and landed; then things get exciting.(Process of catching and exporting bluefin to Japan) Fortune. V134, n10 (Nov 25, 1996):146
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