Bluefin Tuna: Interesting Facts About A Surprising Endangered Species
By Corissa Buehner
There are so many endangered species in the world, and if you are anything like most of the rest of us, you don’t know which animals are endangered or know much about them. Did you know, in fact, that there are different stages of endangerment? Well, there are. Species on the list range from those of least concern up to critically endangered. Beyond critically endangered there are categories of extinction including extinct in the wild all the way up to entirely extinct. So, here is a little information about on species that is endangered headed in the direction of critically endangered: the Bluefin Tuna.
- Bluefin are the largest species of tuna. The can get up to six and a half feet long and can weigh as much as 550 pounds! That’s a lot of tuna!
- Bluefin are prized fish for use in sushi. Unfortunately, the sudden explosion of sushi popularity worldwide has increased the hunting of these fish to the point that they are being fished faster than they can reproduce, meaning that sooner rather than later they will be completely wiped out. That is unless things change, and change soon.
- Bluefin Tuna can live upwards of forty years! Let’s face it, that’s impressive. Most of us can’t imagine a fish living that long, right? Kind of makes you rethink that sushi, huh?
- A single Bluefin Tuna can sell from $500,000 to $1.7 million dollars. And unfortunately, in countries such as Japan, in spite of their endangered status, it is not illegal to catch, kill, and sell these animals. Because prices for these fish are so high, fisherman have become especially adept at catching these fish and even more determined to do so. This just increases the likelihood of the extinction of these fish so vital to the oceanic ecosystem.
- Bluefin Tuna are at the top of their marine food chain, meaning that their extinction could lead to a complete disruption of the balance. Species that they feed on would reproduce at normal rates but their populations would not be regulated and thus the whole ecosystem would be thrown off.
- Atlantic Bluefin Tuna are actually warm-blooded! This is extremely rare in fish and should be something to be relished, not hunted to extinction.
- Bluefin Tuna are highly migratory and Atlantic Bluefin Tuna can migrate from the Newfoundland area of Canada all the way to the Mediterranean and the Gulf of Mexico!
- In sushi form, Bluefin Tuna is often known as toro.
Now that you know these interesting facts about Bluefin Tuna, you may want to reevaluate your choices (particularly of the sushi variety). If you wish to get involved in conservation efforts to protect the Bluefin Tuna, you can contact local wildlife foundations or start your own campaign.
Image: “Bluefin_tuna”. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons –