The Pacific bluefin tuna is now “endangered,” on the the “Red List” for species at most risk of extinction, according to the IUCN.
The report, released on Monday, went on to state that since most fish that are caught are juveniles, who have not yet reproduced, estimates are that their population has been steadily dropping by between 19-33% over the last 22 years.
That may not sound like a lot, but it amounts to hundreds of millions of animals—if a population falls below a certain number, due to breeding patterns and genetic diversity, the population can collapse completely.
Also on the Red List this year are the Chinese pufferfish and the American eel. What can you do to help?
1. Catch and Release
Join the catch and release movement when it comes to Bluefin—they’re illegal to catch in US waters, so if you happen to be out, make sure you’re up to date on catch-and-release techniques, have a proper descent tool on board.
Several major organizations are using tagging programs, breeding programs, as well as raising awareness of the issue. You can donate here.
Sign a petition, make sure the tuna you buy doesn’t have Bluefin in it, and above all, if you see Bluefin on a sushi menu, don’t order it, and if you’re not sure what kind of tuna they’re serving, ask.