Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Bluefin tuna overfishing

Japan has been busted for serious overfishing of bluefin tuna. These magnificent oceanic "cruise missles" are among the most valuable seafood on earth. Without effective protection we might see the last one sold in our lifetimes, for some fantastic price.

In this context, the Japanese overfishing is a serious offense.

The Australian government was responsponsible for the bust, and they claim 20 years of Japanese poaching worth up to $8 billion, and illegal catch levels that prevented bluefin from rebuilding.

The Japanese government admits only modest and short term overfishing of bluefin tuna. However, they accepted stringent penalties that will cut Japanese bluefin quotas in half for 5 years.

It's a shame that some fishermen would so wantonly slaugher such a magnificent creature as bluefin tuna, in defiance of international management and conservation agreements. Bluefin are warm-blooded fish that can grow over 1500 pounds and swim nearly 50 miles per hour. The ocean version of a lion that runs like a cheetah.

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