Bluefin Tuna in Trouble

Tuna are the Olympians of the sea—fast, efficient swimmers able to reach speeds of 50 miles an hour and cross ocean basins. These magnificent animals are also tasty and bluefin tuna belly is prized by sushi eaters around the world for its rich flavor and texture. Sadly, our appetite for this delicacy has led to high prices, overfishing and the near collapse of bluefin populations worldwide.

What You Can Do:


Seafood Watch Recommendations for Bluefin Tuna


SEAFOOD RATING MARKET NAMES LOCATION HOW CAUGHT/FARMED
Bluefin Tuna Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Kuromaguro, Horse Mackerel, Atun de aleta azul, Hon Maguro, Toro Worldwide Wild-caught
Bluefin Tuna Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Kuromaguro, Horse Mackerel, Atun de aleta azul, Hon Maguro, Toro Worldwide Ranched


BLUEFIN TUNA

All populations of bluefin tuna are being caught faster than they can reproduce. Bluefin is being further depleted by ranching operations that collect small bluefin and raise them to full size to sell primarily to the sushi market.

Consumer Note
Bluefin is known as hon maguro, kuromaguro or toro (tuna belly), when it is prepared for sushi.

Health AlertHealth Alert
Environmental Defense Fund has issued a health advisory for bluefin tuna due to elevated levels of mercury and PCBs.

Summary
Bluefin tuna is prized by sushi chefs and the high demand for this fish has taken its toll in the Atlantic, Pacific and Southern Oceans. It's slow to mature and many fisheries are catching young bluefin tuna that haven't had a chance to reproduce.

Bluefin tuna is caught in the Pacific, Atlantic, Southern Oceans and Mediterranean. It's highly migratory and frequently crosses international boundaries during its yearly migration. Numerous nations, including the U.S. and Japan, participate in international management bodies that work to maintain global tuna populations. Unfortunately, these programs are proving ineffective.

Bluefin is caught with a variety of gear, including purse seines and longlines. Longlines are most common and result in large bycatch, including threatened or endangered species such as sea turtles, sharks and seabirds. Since there are no international laws to reduce bycatch, these longline fleets are contributing heavily to the long-term decline of some of these species.

Bluefin tuna ranching, where small bluefin tuna are brought from the wild and fattened in open net pens, is increasingly common. However, the depleted state of all bluefin populations combined with the large quantities of fish that must be used to feed these tuna is a serious conservation concern.

Consumers should "Avoid" all bluefin tuna.