Atlantic Bluefin Tuna
Bluefin tuna poses a very high health risk due to high levels of both mercury and PCB contamination.
Bluefin tuna are internationally overfished, nearly to levels of extinction. They are believed to be 80% or more below their original abundance levels.The eastern and western Atlantic Ocean stocks to which bluefin tuna are native are listed as “endangered,” and “critically endangered,” respectively, in the IUCN Redlist of the world’s most threatened species.Recent efforts in late 2009 to list the bluefin tuna in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) – which would have restricted trade or capture of the bluefin tuna – failed, lacking political support from industrial fishing nations.
Tuna are typically caught with a variety of gears in different fisheries, including pelagic longlines, troll gear and purse seines. Pelagic longlines are known to threaten endangered birds and marine mammals, which can become entangled in the gear. Many tuna fleets are international, and there are no effective international laws established to regulate ecological impacts. Bluefin tuna is one of Food and Water Watch’s Dirty Dozen.