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The Fish That Inspired a Woman to Help Save a Species

Shana Miller was fresh out of college in 1998 when she came face-to-face with one of the fastest fish in the sea. She and her friends battled for three hours to haul a 154-pound bluefin tuna aboard their boat off the Maryland coast. And when she finally looked the creature in the eye, she felt…

Geography in the News: Bluefin Tuna Decline

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM Bluefin Tuna in Decline The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), an international agreement between governments, dealt a serious blow to the Atlantic bluefin tuna in March 2010. The convention voted to deny a proposed international ban on fishing and trading the…

The Bottom Line: Some Promising News for Bluefin Tuna

U.S. policymakers know they need to limit the number of Atlantic bluefin tuna caught and killed by surface longlines, which can stretch 40 miles with more than 750 baited hooks and float unattended for up to 18 hours. After all, the western Atlantic bluefin population is down 64 percent from its level in the 1970s,…

From Crown to Cage: The Changing Face of the Tuna Trap Fishery in Sardgena

For the last month, I have been immersed in a world of traditional bluefin tuna traps in three small towns in the Southwest corner of Sardegna (Sardinia): Carloforte, Portoscuso, and Porto Paglia. In each of these towns you cannot go far without seeing or hearing some sort of reference to bluefin tuna.  Whether it is…

The Bottom Line: Coming Together for Bluefin Tuna

It’s not every day that fishermen and environmentalists agree. But in a significant move, the American Bluefin Tuna Association and the International Game Fish Association are partnering with The Pew Charitable Trusts to protect bluefin tuna, one of the most amazing fish in the sea. By working together, we might be able to help ensure…

Battle for the Western Atlantic Bluefin Tuna

In November, representatives of over 50 countries gathered in the coastal city of Agadir, Morocco, to determine the fate of one of the ocean’s most iconic species—the Atlantic bluefin tuna. Every year, the governments that are members of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT) struggle to jointly manage this highly migratory…

Insanity Caused By Eating Bluefin Tuna

Recently, the owner of several sushi restaurants in Japan paid nearly $1.8 million U.S. dollars for a single bluefin tuna.  Last year this same individual paid what was then a record price—about $ 740,000. With this year’s fish the man outdid—not to say outbid—himself. But presumably other bidders were pushing the price into orbit before…

The Bottom Line: Bluefin Tuna Need You Now

In the Gulf of Mexico, surface longlines intended to catch yellowfin tuna and swordfish indiscriminately catch and kill more than 80 other species of ocean wildlife, including severely depleted western Atlantic bluefin tuna. This species is particularly at risk: Scientific studies have identified it as a distinct population (as compared to eastern Atlantic bluefin) that reproduces…

The Bottom Line: Fishing for Giants

The newest reality TV stars aren’t college kids thrown together in a group house, or a couple who race around the world to win a million dollars. They are the men, and occasionally the women, who do the jobs that many of us didn’t even know existed: the axmen from the Pacific Northwest, the ice-road…

Overfishing 101: Postcard from Pendik

Where is Pendik, you might wonder? That is exactly what I asked myself when I touched down in Turkey last week. Pendik is a bustling coastal town about an hour south from Istanbul, and it was the location of the 22nd meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). My colleagues from the Pew…

ICCAT: Time to Tackle What’s Really in the Net

What’s in a name? If you’re talking about ICCAT—the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas—so much is contained in that one acronym. This body manages all the tuna and tuna-like species found in the vast ocean waters between the United States and Europe and between South America and Africa. It’s not just a faceless…

Overfishing 101: Counting Fish

Read the full “Overfishing 101″ series here. How heavy is 35,000 metric tons? For starters, it’s the weight of 193 jumbo jets or 2,917 African elephants. It’s also the amount of Atlantic bluefin tuna that have exceeded the official catch quota in the Mediterranean Sea in the past two years alone, according to a Pew-commissioned analysis…

Overfishing 101: Creative Ways to Protect Atlantic Bluefin Tuna

Read the full “Overfishing 101″ series here. Many people have heard of bluefin tuna, even if they haven’t eaten it. Bluefin, which are among the world’s most remarkable animals, can reach 1,500 pounds, migrate across the Atlantic, dive to depths of more than 3,000 feet and swim at breakneck speeds. They have also been pursued for…

Can End of the Line Stem the Tide?

Must-see documentary film The End of the Line (newly-released on DVD) and British journalist Charles Clover’s book of the same name examine the imminent threat of overfishing to the world’s fisheries and marine life—and efforts to stem the tide. Among those efforts: A new website, Fish2fork, that rates restaurants on the sustainability of the seafood…