Suing over Sushi: Protection Sought for Pacific Bluefin Tuna – Scientific American Blog Network

GR.– Other stories reveal that the quest for immediate short-term profits is the Tuna’s doom.  There is a competition underway to catch the last of the fish before another interest does.  Is this a perfect example of Garrett Hardin’s Tragedy of the Commons?

Populations of these mighty fish have declined by more than 97 percent

Credit: Stewart Butterflied. Used under Creative Commons license

John R. Platt.– “Does your sushi come with a side order of extinction? That’s certainly a possibility, as one of the most popular (and pricey) sushi ingredients has all but disappeared from many parts of the ocean. In an attempt to solve that problem (for the species, not for sushi lovers), thirteen conservation organizations this week filed a petition to protect the Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis) under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

“The petition follows a year and a half after the Pacific bluefin was listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, a scientific assessment that does not itself provide any protections.

“Both Pacific bluefin and their relatives, the Atlantic bluefin (T. thynnus), have been the subjects of protracted fights between the fishing industry and conservationists, who have warned for years now that the slow-growing predators face massive population depletions throughout their ranges.

“In the case of the Pacific bluefin, conservationists say the species’ population has dropped to less than 3 percent of its historic levels due to rampant and unsustainable overfishing.”  Continue reading:  Suing over Sushi: Protection Sought for Pacific Bluefin Tuna – Scientific American Blog Network

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