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posted by martyb on Sunday September 12, @09:29AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the sushi-news dept.

Good news for tuna as they bounce back from the brink of extinction:

There’s good news for the tuna you’re used to seeing in supermarkets, like Atlantic and Southern bluefin. These and two other species are showing signs of recovery from overfishing.

They have been hunted by commercial fishing companies for decades but now it’s hoped they might not go extinct, as previously feared.

The news comes from International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) which has just released an update to its Red List.

This list shows the extinction risk of thousands of species around the world. Unfortunately, more than 38,000 species are still facing the threat of extinction, but there were signs of recovery for some.

In 2011, most species of tuna were considered to be at serious risk of extinction. With 6 million tonnes[*] thought to have been caught in 2019, these are some of the most commercially valuable fish in the world.

In this update, the status of seven commonly fished tuna species was reassessed and there was good news for four of them.

The Atlantic bluefin tuna moved from Endangered to Least Concern and the Southern bluefin became Endangered rather than Critically Endangered. Both albacore and yellowfin tunas went from being Near Threatened to Least Concern.

“These Red List assessments are proof that sustainable fisheries approaches work, with enormous long-term benefits for livelihoods and biodiversity,” says Dr Bruce B Collette, chair of the IUCN SSC Tuna and Billfish Specialist Group.

“We need to continue enforcing sustainable fishing quotas and cracking down on illegal fishing.”

[*] That's 6 billion kilograms (~ 7.2 billion pounds). By comparison, there are approximately 7.8 billion people on earth, from infants to geriatrics. However you look at it, that's a lot of fish!


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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Username on Sunday September 12, @10:02AM (10 children)

    by Username (4557) on Sunday September 12, @10:02AM (#1177198)

    We all know everyone kept fishing them. There is no way to enforce a global ban on fishing anything. There is no way cuba, uk, china, north korea, japan all agreed on saving the tuna. Or those fishing people, born at sea, citizen of nocountry. It's the open sea. International water, do whatever you want out there.

    So what actually happened? Did they just fudge the numbers so the people who did the quota thing can match those who didn't? Was there a problem to begin with?

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by looorg on Sunday September 12, @01:55PM (3 children)

      by looorg (578) on Sunday September 12, @01:55PM (#1177219)

      I'm really wondering this to. Naturally you can't have a census of Tuna, you can't even get a proper one on people. So the population is basically just estimates and models based on observations and/or how much you pull out of the sea (the known quantities from industrial scale fishing). Either the previous model was flawed and wrong and the estimate of the Tuna population far off. Or someone or something just by happy accident created a population boom of Tuna, perhaps they really like the global warming? More warm, more plankton, more food, more making new fishes?

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Sunday September 12, @06:22PM (1 child)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday September 12, @06:22PM (#1177262)

        Ever see the movies of tuna boats from the early 1900s? Tiny boats with guys hauling in huge tuna one after another, massive schools easily harvested.

        Then it got harder - did the tuna get smarter? Probably not, more like: less tuna, harder to catch a tuna.

        Tuna hunting methods improved dramatically over the next 50-80 years, and still it got harder and harder to catch a tuna.

        While exact "headcount" of anything living in the open ocean is clearly impossible today, they do have methods to estimate populations, and even though those methods are flawed they are a reasonable indication of population trends.

        All models are flawed, some are useful. They asked for a reduction in the tuna harvest. Did everyone comply? Of course not. Did a lot of tuna fishers comply? It would seem so. Population estimates are now on the rise. Species like tuna which spawn thousands of eggs per female per season can rebound their populations fairly quickly from hunting pressure.

        What tuna and most other species can't rebound quickly from is habitat (basically food web) degradation. The longer that continues, the fewer of these happy stories of species coming back from the brink of oblivion will be heard.

        --
        My karma ran over your dogma.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 12, @11:03PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 12, @11:03PM (#1177324)

          I'd prefer to think there is a global cabal pedo-scientists led by JJJina looking to take away our Bibles.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by DeathMonkey on Monday September 13, @07:30PM

        by DeathMonkey (1380) on Monday September 13, @07:30PM (#1177479) Journal

        Bluefin tuna has been on the radar of conservation people for a long time! This really does seem to be the results of fisheries management success.

        This article from 2017 talks about some of the international agreements going into effect regarding these species. [pewtrusts.org]

    • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Sunday September 12, @02:16PM (2 children)

      by Opportunist (5545) on Sunday September 12, @02:16PM (#1177224)

      Ever pondered that this may simply be fabricated to get people off the tuna fishers' backs?

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by looorg on Sunday September 12, @02:37PM (1 child)

        by looorg (578) on Sunday September 12, @02:37PM (#1177226)

        The Big Tuna Conspiracy?

        • (Score: 3, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 12, @06:48PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 12, @06:48PM (#1177268)

          Sorry Charlie. It's over fishing.

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by fustakrakich on Sunday September 12, @05:27PM (1 child)

      by fustakrakich (6150) on Sunday September 12, @05:27PM (#1177251) Journal

      So what actually happened?

      Temperature's risin'

      --
      Ok, we paid the ransom. Do I get my dog back? REDЯUM
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @07:39AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @07:39AM (#1177636)

      We all know everyone kept fishing them.

      You didn't even read the summary, didn't you. Not even the first sentence?

      There’s good news for the tuna you’re used to seeing in supermarkets, like Atlantic and Southern bluefin. These and two other species are showing signs of recovery from overfishing.

      1. since they are not in supermarkets or restaurants, the amount people actually consumed was a lot less.
      2. not ALL species show signs of recovery -- only a few. The pacific ones are not exactly the ones recovering, only the ones where the ban was actually enforced.
      3. China and North Korea or Japan are generally not illegally fishing in the waters of US or EU and that's the place they see recovery, somewhat.
      4. your jaded attitude to conservation is just bullshit.

      I find it incredibly sad that you believe laws and enforcement makes no impact on anything. Maybe you also believe that it's just as safe in Russia or Japan and Somalia because people kill people and the police and laws in the first 2 makes absolutely no difference vs. mostly lawless Somalia.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 12, @10:39AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 12, @10:39AM (#1177201)

    Now we can hunt them to extinction again.

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 12, @11:05PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 12, @11:05PM (#1177325)

      And bonus, the scientists were wrong and they can shut their mouths next time.

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Sunday September 12, @12:06PM (6 children)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Sunday September 12, @12:06PM (#1177209)

    7.2 billion pounds). By comparison, there are approximately 7.8 billion people on earth, from infants to geriatrics.

    Picturing 7.8 billion humans weighing 0.923 lbs each really helps me appreciate how much 7.2 billion pounds represent.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 12, @02:08PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 12, @02:08PM (#1177221)

      Human biomass graph https://xkcd.com/1338/ [xkcd.com]

    • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Sunday September 12, @08:34PM (4 children)

      by krishnoid (1156) on Sunday September 12, @08:34PM (#1177295)

      If that's roughly a pound of tuna for every human on earth, I can see how people could eat more than that in a year, especially when you subtract the, er, "tare" from the actual "payload" that people eat. Oh and cats, don't forget the cats.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 12, @09:14PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 12, @09:14PM (#1177307)

        Dunno, man, I never ate a cat.

        Are they tasty?

        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by ElizabethGreene on Monday September 13, @01:08AM (2 children)

          by ElizabethGreene (6748) on Monday September 13, @01:08AM (#1177341)

          The meat is a light red meat, closer to pork than beef. With light seasoning it was not unpalatable. For my very small sample set (n=1) it was quite tender but lacking fat.

          (I'm not an asshole that kills pets for fun; This animal was feral, barely more than a kitten, and killed by a stray dog attack.)

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 13, @01:46AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 13, @01:46AM (#1177350)

            And how do you like your humans?

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 13, @02:16AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 13, @02:16AM (#1177352)

              everybody loves the tender ones.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 12, @12:28PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 12, @12:28PM (#1177213)

    Unfortunately that characterizes almost every conservation effort
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/sep/06/third-of-shark-and-ray-species-face-extinction-warns-study [theguardian.com]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 12, @06:31PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 12, @06:31PM (#1177265)

      Yes, because typically there isn't something that steps in to prevent backsliding. I'm not sure what the equivalent for the paradox of efficiency in this case would be.

      Locally, the state cut back significantly on fish being caught and bought back boats and licenses. These days the fisheries impacted are mostly on the rise and likely to remain sustainable into the future. It isn't completely solved, climate change may change things, but it's helped a bunch.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 12, @06:17PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 12, @06:17PM (#1177259)

    Tuna melt, yumm!

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 12, @09:40PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 12, @09:40PM (#1177312)

    chicken of the sea!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 12, @11:07PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 12, @11:07PM (#1177326)

      or is chicken the tuna of the battery farm?

  • (Score: 2) by drussell on Sunday September 12, @11:38PM

    by drussell (2678) on Sunday September 12, @11:38PM (#1177334) Journal

    That's 6 billion kilograms (~ 7.2 billion pounds)

    Uhm, no... It's not 7.2 billion pounds.

    1 Kg = approximately 2.20462262185 lb

    ~ 13.2 billion pounds would be a reasonable approximation, but most certainly not 7.2 billion pounds...

    Still, nearly 2 lbs per person per year sounds high to me for a worldwide average, but what do I know about other people's tuna consumption? 🙂

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