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Atlantic Bluefin Tuna – Endangered


The bluefin tuna was once the king of the seas. Living in large shoals and hunting together, Atlantic bluefin are long-lived and highly migratory fish that can be found throughout the Atlantic Ocean. Their only crime is that, to sushi eaters, they taste delicious. Before the 1960s, bluefin tuna was only fished in small quantities; however, demand rose as the fish became a Japanese delicacy and was soon targeted heavily by commercial fisheries.

Now it is on the brink of extinction, having been unsustainably fished for so long.


Atlantic Bluefin Tuna
(Thunnus thynnus)


Territory: Atlantic Ocean, Arctic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea

Diet: Fish and invertebrates

Lifespan: 15 years

Adult weight: 250 kg (550 lb)

 Conservation status: Endangered

The causes of extinction

Overfishing: Over the past few decades, numbers of bluefin tuna have declined due to commercial and also unregulated fishing. Illegal fishing of this animal means that no data is kept or analysed, and often even regulated fishery numbers are misinterpreted, making it incredibly difficult to gain the state of bluefin in the wild.

Habitat degradation: Key habitats such as spawning grounds are crucial to species survival. When these fragile locations are hit by pollution and mismanagement, such as the oil spill from Deepwater Horizon in 2010, it can have huge knock-on effects for tuna survival.

Taking young fish: It’s not just taking an excess of fish that is an issue; it’s removing the fish that are too young to have had a chance to reproduce. Bluefin develop slowly, not reaching sexual maturity until five to eight years of age. When juvenile fish are removed from the water, the species has no hope of recovery.

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2 thoughts on “Atlantic Bluefin Tuna – Endangered”

  1. #2,
    It’s very disappointing the way Japan violates the fishing regulations, in the mass killing of the whales they lie and say it’s for researching purposes when they’re pulling in the whales in alarming quantities, hundreds of tons of whales. I’m very particular about the kinds of fish I eat, if it’s anything endangered I don’t do it.

  2. #4,
    The people responsible for the violations should be heavily fined so as to reduce their profits, if all else fails confiscate their equipment, including their ships.

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