Help bluefin tuna before they go extinct

by Phil Kline

November 10, 2010

PhilBluefin tuna are often called the cheetahs of the oceans. That’s because they can reach speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. They can reach lengths of 10 feet and weigh up to 1,500 pounds. But, as magnificent as they are—the bluefin tuna may not survive much longer.

Rampant overfishing has pushed the bluefin tuna to the brink of extinction. Their populations are so low that they’re now considered a delicacy. An individual bluefin tuna can be worth over $100,000 and found at high-end sushi restaurants.

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To make matters worse, fishermen in the Mediterranean Sea target Atlantic bluefin during their peak-breeding season. The overfished bluefin aren’t even given a chance to recover their populations. Large fleets of fishing vessels race to encircle whole schools with dangerous nets known as “purse seines.”

Bluefin TunaThe second place that bluefin tuna breed is in the Gulf of Mexico. And, this year, the bluefin tuna have a new threat to contend with—the largest oil spill in U.S. history. The Deepwater Horizon oil disaster resulted in the release of more than 200 million gallons of oil and 1.8 million gallons of toxic dispersants. All of this pollution occurred during the peak of bluefin spawning season.

Clearly, the bluefin tuna need our help.

Please take action and urge the Obama Administration to call on the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas to protect spawning bluefin in the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean Sea now!


Phil Kline

By Phil Kline

Phil is a senior oceans campaigner at Greenpeace USA. He is a recognized expert on oceans policy domestically and internationally, and has represented Greenpeace U.S. at International Whaling Commission (IWC) meetings and Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission meetings around the globe.

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