Oceana Uses Celebrity Advocacy to Save Bluefin Tuna

By August 20, 2011Ocean News
Bluefin tuna

The Best 3 Qualities in a Man

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The envision of my dream man would be tall, dark haired, handsome, and of course passionate about conserving our oceans. So it surprised me (and secretly thrilled me) when one day I stumbled across a commercial with Adrian Grenier (actor on HBO’s hit series Entourage) talking about bluefin tuna and their rapid decline.

Celebrity Power

Oceana, an international ocean conservation organization, teamed up with a celebrity to advocate the serious issue of the possible extinction of bluefin tuna. Not only did this catch my attention, but it intrigued me enough to research all of the causes for the decline of bluefin tuna.

Maguro

Do you ever wonder how much that maguro inside your stuffed sushi roll would cost in Japan? Probably not, but the answer will surprise you. Maguroor toro is bluefin tuna and can be sold in Japan sashimi markets for thousands of dollars. Bluefin tuna is in high demand and the growing rareness of this fish is only worsening the over fishing problem. The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) estimates that only 25,000 mature bluefin tuna remain.

In addition to overfishing bluefin tuna, we are also depleting their prey sources and negatively impacting their only two spawning grounds that we know of. Blue fin tuna are warm blooded creatures that migrate long distances, and can accelerate faster than a race car. In return these fish need large quantities of prey to survive. Bluefin tuna’s  primary prey sources in the western Atlantic Ocean (Atlantic menhaden, mackerel, and herring) have also faced intense overfishing.

Gulf of Mexico Beginnings

The Gulf of Mexico is the primary spawning ground for the western Atlantic bluefin. Populations here have declined 82 percent due to oil spills and continued fishing in the Gulf. Current fishing rules allow fishermen targeting yellowfin tuna or swordfish to catch and sell one bluefin tuna per trip, caught in one of only two known spawning sites. Oceana’s Bluefin Tuna Campaign seeks to bring protection to the Mediterranean Sea, the second known spawning ground of bluefin tuna, and to help restore the bluefin populations that spawn in the Gulf of Mexico.

You can help save Bluefin by signing a petition on the Oceana website (http://na.oceana.org/en/goingfast), and by always making sustainable seafood choices.

Check out this video of Adrian Grenier’s and Oceana’s campaign to protect bluefin tuna:

About the Author

Kate Galloway is currently finishing up her Bachelors of Science in Marine biology at UC Santa Cruz. Her deep love for the ocean started on the California beaches of San Diego as a child growing up. Her love for the warm waters of the West coast grew into an enthusiasm for conserving the ocean, and every thing that resides within it. She has a wide variety of experience in communicating ocean science through teaching, research, and now writing. She hopes to one day work in marine conservation policy, write environmental journalism pieces, and travel the worlds oceans.

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