4 Things You Should Know About Ocean Tuna Fishing
Many people like to eat tuna and other types of fish a couple of times a week. Often they will visit the supermarket and either choose fresh tuna or perhaps tuna that is in a can. Very few know just how much effort is put forth by the fishermen and canneries that help to bring this food to your table.
Here are 4 things you should know about ocean tuna fishing
- The species- Tuna is a saltwater fish that belongs to the Thunnini family, which also includes mackerel, bonitos, and 13 other species. This family of fish has been harvested for food for many years. In fact, ocean tuna fishing has been a food staple for those who fish for food or as a commercial fisherman for more than 42,000 years.
- Distinction- Overfishing has caused many species of ocean tuna to nearly become extinct. In particular, the southern bluefin tuna which can grow to approximately 8 feet and weigh in at 570 lbs. is now critically endangered.
- Several countries now impose regulations on how many ocean tuna can be caught per boat/per country in their territorial waters. Not only do they limit the amount that a fisherman can catch but also impose certain restrictions on how they actually catch the fish.
- Fish Farming- The traditional way of catching ocean tuna is changing rapidly. This is because of the depletion of the species. Nowadays, there are many countries that fish farm this species of ocean fish. The ocean tuna are raised in net pens and fed a diet of bait fish. Once the fish reaches a certain size, they are caught with a rod and reel, and then processed for human consumption
Ocean tuna fishing really went through the roof in numbers from the 1940’s to around 1960. Prior to these years, the amount of tuna processed for human consumption was around 3000 tons. During the years noted above, processing for commercial purposes rose to 1 million tons. Today, ocean tuna fishing for commercial purposes has hit around 3 million tons yearly.
The southern bluefin ocean tuna is one of the most sought after species for many countries, particularly Japan, who uses various species of tuna in their culinary dish known as sushi. This species of ocean tuna sets the record in tuna auctions held in that country. In 2012, bluefin tuna was auctioned off for an amazing $1247.00 a pound.
Remember the 4 things you should know about ocean tuna fishing the next time you go shopping and perhaps there will be some information on the can as to where the fish was actually caught, how, and by what fishermen/country.