As Pacific bluefin tuna stocks dwindle to 2.6 percent of their historic population, the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission and the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission have promised to increase the fish’s population sevenfold.
The Honolulu-based Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council is in the midst of a debate about changing the rules governing non-commercial fishing in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument since the monument’s size was quadrupled by the Obama administration.
Where your yellowfin tuna was caught can dramatically change the level of pollutants in its flesh, say researchers at the University of San Diego’s Scripps Institute of Oceanography, after testing 117 yellowfin tuna from 12 locations in a first-of-its-kind global study.
Responding to pressure from the environmental group Greenpeace, the world’s largest tuna supplier, Thai Union, has announced a series of initiatives designed to improve its fishing practices and protect workers from abuses. Thai Union owns the popular brands Chicken of the Sea and Sealect.
The World Trade Organization sided with Mexico over the U.S. in a long-running dispute over labeling on Mexican tuna imported into America. The regulatory body gave Mexico the green light to seek $163 million each year that the U.S. bans it from using the term “dolphin-safe” on its tuna-can labels.
Already down to 2 percent of their historic high, Pacific Bluefin tuna are struggling to rebuild their population as Japanese fishermen reach their annual quota two months early — with no plans to slow down the catch, reports The Guardian.
Eight of the biggest seafood companies in the world pledged to report and reduce illegal catches and root out endangered species from their supply chain, says Reuters. The firms also promised to end slave labor and reduce antibiotics in aquaculture.
Although Japan, South Korea, China, the United States and other countries agreed in 2013 to catch less big-eye tuna in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean, U.S. long-line fishermen are raising their catch quotas through side agreements with Pacific island territories, says Civil Beat. Many …
“Counting fish is like counting trees, but the trees are invisible and constantly on the move,” says The Atlantic, explaining the often unreliable science behind marine population estimates. To get more accurate numbers, marine scientists are putting artificial intelligence, autonomous submarines, and drones to work.
In a rare bit of positive news about the U.S. diet, Americans upped their seafood intake by a pound last year to 15.5 pounds, according to the annual Fisheries of the United States Report released by NOAA last week. Even though that only amounts to about four extra seafood meals per person per year, it constitutes the “biggest biggest leap in seafood consumption in 20 years," says NPR.
Thirty Hawaiian lawmakers wrote President Obama urging him not to expand the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument by 8 percent, as conservationists have proposed, says Civil Beat.
A WTO appellate panel ruled in favor of Mexico in a dispute over U.S. rules on when cans of tuna can carry the "dolphin-safe" label, says Associated Press.
A paper published online in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry says the concentration of mercury in yellowfin tuna "currently is increasing at a rate of at least 3.8 percent per year."
China Tuna Industry Group Holdings has withdrawn its application to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange to become a publicly traded company because of adverse publicity, says Undercurrent News.
A large Chinese fishing company declared in a draft document "that it intended to circumvent international conservation limits on tuna – by simply ignoring them" with little fear of discipline for it, says the Guardian.
Consumer Reports magazine urged pregnant women to avoid eating tuna and suggested consumers should consider 17 species of seafood that are low in mercury, which can have damage the brain and nervous system if over-consumed.