420 pounds!The Atlantic bluefin tuna is one of the most recognizable fish in the Atlantic prized by anglers and a mainstay of the sushi industry.But the fish which can weigh up to 454 kilograms were listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.It’s always been considered the majestic bluefin, they’re the strongest fish in the ocean;they’re one of the most highly sought-after-game fish.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says conservative management appears to be helping the species recover after years of overfishing.Basically use balloons to float the line out and then we set the bait of different depths and pretty much they run away.
A decade ago the popular fish all but disappeared from the Gulf of Maine.Quite a few years back, I can’t remember what year it was, there wasn’t any fish caught.Where as you see, this year, there’s quite a few, this year fishermen set a record with 30 fish including a 363 kilo catch.Fish stocks, the way we see it on the water, the last five years especially have been rebounding greatly.Thanks to the rebound, international regulators have increased the catch quotas for US fishermen this year by more than a hundred and eighty thousand kilos.
But environmental groups warn increasing the quota will undo years of conservation.Scientists have been unable to determine whether or not the Atlantic bluefin population has recovered so any decrease in the population now is bad for fishermen in the long term.
Walt Colant, professor of marine biology at the University of Maine says probably no other fish has been more politicized than the Atlantic bluefin tuna.From an environmental point of view it’s always, maybe let’s take the most conservative approach,let’s try to back off a little bit and make sure that we always have enough fish.
And on the other side you have individuals and organizations that they are making a living off that fish and so they want to try to get more of that quota if they can and that’s kind of where the assessment and management comes into play.It’s kind of balancing all of those opinions and viewpoints.Tuna has long been at the center of a battle among commercial fishermen who can make huge amounts of money on a single fish.Environmentalists see them as marvels of marine migration and consumers who are willing to pay hefty prices to eat them.
Julie Taboh, VOA News.