Bluefin Tuna

(Thunnus maccoyii)

Bluefin tuna, Bluefin tunny, Blue fin, Atlantic bluefin tuna, Blouvin Tuna, Pacific Bluefin Tuna, Southern Bluefin Tuna

1. What is it?

Southern bluefin (Thunnus maccoyii ) are large, slow growing, late maturing fish found throughout the Southern Ocean. They are considered to be a valuable food source on the sashimi market and are therefore under heavy fishing pressure. Southern Bluefin tuna are listed as Critically Endangered on IUCN’s list of threatened species and stocks are currently rated as overfished and over exploited.

2. How was it caught or farmed?

Southern bluefin are caught using pelagic longlines. Bycatch can be a significant issue and species accidentally caught are often discarded. Many of these species are considered threatened (sharks, seabirds and turtles) and studies are increasingly linking fishing as the cause of their recent population declines. Pelagic longlines are considered to have little to no impact on the seabed.

3. Where is it from?

Southern bluefin tuna is fished from the Southern Ocean. Due to its migratory nature and demand Atlantic bluefin are managed by Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs). Southenr Bluefin tuna is under the management of the Committee for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT). Member or co-operating non-member countries are then responsible for ensuring the implementation and adaptation of the recommended quotas and regulations. Management by CCSBT is only partly effect as enforcing these international tuna fishing laws remains a challenge due to the fact that boats operate on the high seas, far from easy observation. Some nations do various amounts of at-sea inspection and enforcement using surface vessels, but such coverage is spotty due to the associated expenses.

NOTE: Atlantic Bluefin tuna is imported on a small scale through the pelagic longlines and rod and reel sector. However, all imported Bluefin tunas are RED on the SASSI list and, therefore, it is recommended to avoid buying imported Bluefin tuna.