San Francisco, (EFEUSA) .- The tuna, one of the most majestic and fast fish of the ocean and that is appreciated in kitchens around the world, is under minimum because of overfishing, which has led to the Nations United to promote World Tuna Day, which is celebrated today.
The UN calculates that each year about seven million tonnes of tuna and tuna species are caught, which constitute 20% of the market value of all the world’s fisheries and more than 8% of the value of the entire fish trade. and seafood (including those from fish farms).
“The most threatened species is bluefin tuna, which is in danger of extinction, it takes much longer to reach adulthood than other similar species and is much less abundant in the oceans,” the fisheries director explained in an interview with Efe. of the NGO The Pew Charitable Trusts, Amanda Nickson.
Bluefin tuna is preferred in the preparation of traditional dishes of Japanese cuisine such as sushi or sashimi, and last January the owner of a chain of restaurants paid at auction in Tokyo a record price of 333.6 million of yen (more than 3 million dollars) for a copy of 278 kilos.
The high price paid in the markets is a great incentive for fishing (often illegal, that is, not respecting national or international quotas) of this endangered species, whose population in the Pacific has decreased in a 96% with respect to the levels it would be if it were not fished.
“As for the population of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, it seems that it is beginning to recover after years of overfishing, but its population is still below the levels that can be considered healthy,” Nickson said.
Being migratory fish that cross national and international waters, their management has to be done from the coordination of several organisms, and at present there are five international treaties that regulate the fishing of these fish, each focused on different species or regions of the world.
Spain, Ecuador and Mexico are three of the countries that have the most tuna and similar species such as the bonito fish in the world, although the world ranking is led, at a great distance, by Asian nations: Japan, in the first place, with fishing that almost doubles the second, Taiwan, and South Korea, in third position.
After bluefin tuna, the two main species of light tuna are the following most threatened: bigeye tuna or large-eyed tuna, which lives in tropical and temperate waters (absent in the Mediterranean) and yellowfin tuna, which is the most usual when sushi or sashimi is consumed in restaurants in Europe or the US
“One of the big problems with the clear tuna is that the young bigeye and yellowfin fish like to swim with pretty adults, so that when you want to fish beautiful, in many cases there is an incidental capture of these specimens. to say, they are caught by accident “, explained the expert.
According to the most recent analysis of The Pew Charitable Trusts, published this week, he warned against the possibility that bigeye in the Atlantic have practically disappeared in 2033.
Special mention should be made of two other families of tunas or similar species, albacore tuna and tuna, which are either due to their lower culinary appreciation (in the case of albacore tuna) or because they are more abundant, smaller and more mature. quickly (beautiful), its conservation status is less worrisome.
“Although it is caught in abundance, the bonito has a very resistant population, it is not considered that it currently suffers overfishing, but yes, scientists already warn that the threshold of sustainability is visible,” said Nickson about this species that is normally which is found when buying canned tuna.
For the expert, the solution to avoid the disappearance of tuna in the ocean is simple: decisions on tuna fishing quotas have to be made based on scientific and not political criteria, something that, in her opinion, often does not occurs nowadays (EFEUSA)