Atlantic bluefin tuna are one of the most valuable fish in the sea. They are prized for the high-quality sushi and sashimi produced from their flesh, and it’s not uncommon for individual fish to fetch prices of $10,000 or more. Their high value makes them hard to resist, and and overfishing had sharply reduced their numbers. In recent years, however, international cooperation has reduced fishing pressure on Atlantic bluefin tuna, and the stocks appear to be recovering.
Because bluefin tuna live on the high seas, beyond the jurisdiction of any one nation, catch limits are set by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas. ICCAT meets this week to negotiate new catch limits for both the Eastern and Western stocks, and recently completed stock assessments provide the scientific context for the negotiations.
NOAA Fisheries biologist Dr. Cly Porch chaired the assessment of the Western stoic and contributed to the assessment of the Eastern stock. In this interview, he discusses the results of the assessments and what they mean for the future of this magnificent fish.
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