July 10, 2011

More Tuna Species Facing Threat Of Extinction

"¨Sorry, Charlie, but it looks as though tuna species are in more danger now than ever before, as two new species were added to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species this week thanks to new study claims that as many as five different types of the fish could be in danger of dying out completely.

"¨On Saturday, BBC News Science Reporter Jennifer Carpenter said that two additional species of tuna had been added to the World Conservation Union's record, along with two mackerel and two marlin species as well.

"¨"They join the Southern bluefin tuna - listed as critically endangered," Carpenter said. "The report, published in this week's Science, is the first global assessment of this highly prized family of fish, which are at risk of being over-fished."

"¨According to the BBC News story, bluefins, by the kilo, are the most expensive seafood in the world.

"¨Kent Carpenter of the IUCN, author of a paper on the topic recently published by the journal Science, said that the three species of tuna "are susceptible to collapse under continued excessive fishing pressure." Carpenter, the organization's IUCN's Marine Biodiversity manager, added that there was "little hope of recovery" for the Southern bluefin.

"¨According to the Vancouver Sun, the study, which was completed by biologists from Simon Fraser University, claims that as many as five tuna species are currently facing the possibility of worldwide extinction. In all, they include the Critically Endangered Southern Bluefin, the Endangered Atlantic Bluefin, the Vulnerable Bigeye, and two Near Threatened species, the Albacore and the Yellowfin.

"¨"Temporarily shutting down tuna fisheries would only be a part of a much needed recovery program.In order to prevent illegal fishing, strong deterrents need to be implemented," Jean-Christophe Vi©, Deputy Director of IUCN's Global Species Program, said in a statement.

"This new study shows that there is an urgent need for effective management. Scientific findings should not be discarded in order to maintain short-term profit. Marine life and jobs for future generations are both at stake."

"¨"Reducing fishing efforts to safe levels sounds surprisingly simple. But tuna management is challenging because many different countries and multiple fisheries with different interests exploit these species," added IUCN Tuna and Billfish Specialist Group member Maria Jos© Juan Jordá.

"This makes their management incredibly difficult and often ineffective."


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