Scientists Try to Save Bluefin

Fishing practices slammed as 'totally out of control'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2007 4:50 PM CST
Zadar, CROATIA: A diver helps fishermen to catch tuna fish at bluefin tuna farm around mid Adriatic Croatian town of Zadar, 21 February 2007, before transporting them to Japan. (AFP PHOTO/Stringer)    (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Bluefin tuna can grow to three-quarters of a ton, traverse the Atlantic in less than a month, and are growing rapidly extinct—thanks to fishing practices that are "totally out of control," one US official said. Marine biologists who track Bluefin populations are finding their suggestions rejected by world governments. “We know enough to save this species,” one conservationist said. “We don’t have the will.”

Scientists have jacked up pressure since learning that Atlantic bluefin come in two species, making each group smaller and more endangered. Yet officials set fishing quotas at nearly double scientists' suggestions, and fishermen top them by 50%—little wonder when the fish can fetch more than $170,000 per fish, the Washington Post reports.