Save the Bluefin Tuna

Shelby Sellars, Emily Taylor, Sydney Epp


The Bluefin Tuna is native to the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans in subtropical and temperate waters. They are valued by humans, as a single fish can sell for $45,000 and up. The fish is most favored in Japan, where in 2013, the peak price for an average bluefin tuna was just over $1 million. Japan consumes 80 percent of the world's bluefin tuna, and are often to blame for the rapid decline of the fish.

The Problem

Because this fish is so widely sought after for consumption, overfishing has caused a shortage of the bluefin tuna. It has led to 96% population reduction, the species now threatened with extinction. Being one of the top predators in the ocean, the bluefin tuna's absence would affect the whole balance of the ecosystem.

The Solution

One solution to this growing problem could be to create more areas that serve as "no catch zones" to allow the species to recover and reproduce to compensate for the declining population. Another solution would be to stop trawling, dragging a large net across the ocean floor to catch mass amounts of fish. Often times, the companies that participate in trawling are in search for a specific fish so the fish that are picked up and unwanted eventually die and are tossed back into the ocean. Fishing on lesser scales would prevent the increasing amount of wasted sealife.


  • National Marine Fisheries Service: estimates that effectively restoring fish populations effected by overfishing could cost up to $31 billion. They are making small changes immediately, but the biggest changes will have to be done at a slower pace
  • Sustainable Fisheries Foundation: This organization has held several meetings to discuss the overfishing issues and also food productions issues. However, actions made in response to these ideas has yet to happen.
  • Local Fishermen: Fishermen make a living off of the trade of the fish that they catch. They depend on the fish to keep their job, but they do no exploit the ocean's populations as large companies that use the trawling method.