Stop Exploitation of Pacific Tuna Before Collapse of Ecosystem

Target: Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission and the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission

Goal: Halt the overfishing of bluefin tuna in the Pacific Ocean and demand that proper fishing management be established.

Fishery scientists working with the International Scientific Committee have come to startling conclusions based on the population of tuna inhabiting the Pacific Ocean. Their results show that the current biomass of the Pacific bluefin tuna is reaching historically low levels. Based on projections of the current fishing rate, tuna levels are unlikely to improve and this rate could potentially lead to their ecosystem collapse. Demand that these regional fishery management organizations control the fishing levels of bluefin tuna in order to preserve their ecosystems.

A report that was released in early January 2013 indicated that both the US and Japan have participated in decades of uncontrolled overfishing, leaving tuna stocks extremely vulnerable. The increase in the demand for sushi has certainly contributed to overfishing. Due to such a high demand for tuna, all of the world’s species of scombrids, which include tuna and mackerels, are on the endangered list.

After further assessment, fishery scientists show that the Pacific bluefin population has declined by more than 96 percent. Countries that are catching the most fish are Japan and Mexico coming in second. Many of the tuna that are caught are below the age of sexual maturity, not allowing them the chance to reproduce. However, little is reported on the percentage of tuna caught and then stored for fattening.

Amanda Nickson, director of global tuna conservation at the Pew Environmental Group, offers her suggestion that the responsible thing to do is to stop overfishing until proper management measures are put into effect. This will ensure the reversal of the tuna population decline. Conservationists continue to issue warnings that if fishing at these levels continues, there is a real possibility of the disintegration of the tuna population. Demand that the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission and the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission stop the exploitation of the Pacific bluefin tuna and install fishing management measures.


Dear Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission and the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission,

A recent report released by the International Scientific Committee is recognizing that the populations of Pacific bluefin tuna are at historically low levels, largely due to exploitation and overfishing. Fishery scientists are indicating that tuna populations have declined by more than 96 percent.

Many of the tuna that are caught are barely even a year old, leaving them little chance to reproduce. If projected estimates are accurate, fishing at the current rate could potentially lead to ecosystem collapse. Therefore, I urge you to stop uncontrolled overfishing of Pacific bluefin tuna and establish proper fishing management.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Jedimentat44 via flickr

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