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Sunday
Feb202011

Saving bluefin - in one year?

Image: aboutmyplanet.com

A new website wants you to know how grim the situation has become for Atlantic bluefin.  It includes the stark statement that in all probability, the last bluefin will die in 2012, so we best get cracking on trying to save them.  Is it possible?  Certainly it will take a concerted effort from all nations that currently exploit this species, and a total dismantling of a subsidised tech-heavy industry.  To achieve that in just 12 months, well, forgive me if I wax pessimistic…

That aside, the video is nicely animated and quite information dense, touching on many aspects that plague modern fisheries management like the economies of extinction (when an exploited species becomes ever more valuable, the rarer it gets), tragedy of the commons , bycatch, subsidies and the wasteful nature of feeding cultured predatory fishes.  So, it’s worth your time, and if you live in an EU nation, it’s worth your contacting your country’s responsible ministry to ask what they are doing to help avoid the extinction of one of the oceans noblest creatures.  Finally, it’s worth rejecting bluefin at the market level (in sushi restaurants may be the best place) to help reduce demand. 

Maybe it’s already too late for bluefin, and that’s a tragedy, but the story doesn’t end there.  As we continue to fish down the food web, the crisis will move from bluefin to the next most threatened species and the cycle will reiterate until all that’s left is jellyfish and harmful algal blooms.  If that vision isn’t enough to inspire action, I don’t know what is.