World Tuna Day is celebrated on May 2 each year to focus on the need of sustainable management of the fish stocks. A day to respect the people who manage and sustain Tuna and fisheries.
|| Elsie Gabriel
Many countries depend on tuna for food, nutritional value, employment, revenue and livelihood purposes.
The ratio of the catch of delinquent tuna has rapidly increased from the last few decades. This over fishing has decreased the populations of tuna. Sustainable fishing enforcement is the need of the hour.
Tuna species are resources of huge economic value and a key source of protein for quite a number of population the world over. Commercial importance has led to severe overfishing in many habitats. Tuna is a top line predator and as such plays a pivotal role in maintaining the natural balance of the ocean.
World wide, Fisheries and their departments are ensuring that more awareness is created about their sustainability.
Jafer Hisham, fisheries expert from the Lakhshadweep Biodiversity Council elaborates,” The most sustainable method for tuna fishing is pole and line and handling, which is practised in may places especially in Maldives and Lakshadweep in the Indian ocean region. Pole and line fishery is most effective for economy of small islands like Lakshadweep and Maldives as the money generated is used in local economy (the money is shared between fishermen, boat owners, carpenters, mechanics etc) as many involved in the fishery make a living from this trade.
When industrial fishing fleets are concerned this is not economical considering their large investments and aim for profits.”
Tunas are of various types like the Albacore, Atlantic bluefin, Skipjack, Yellowfin and Bigeye.
Tuna is a delectably tasty fish absolutely loved all over the world. Tunas are amazingly strong creatures, with torpedo-shaped bodies that are apt for swimming at superspeed, for example, the bluefin tuna can travel up to 45 mph, dive 4000 feet and age up to 40 years.
Speaking to Samiir Aman from the Ammathi Fishing Adventures in Lakshadweep islands India, Samiir sheds more light on how one must follow sustainable recreational fishing to protect this species, “World Tuna Day is to raise awareness about the Tuna fish and its importance to humans and earth. It is also observed to promote more sustainable fishing practices. We practice Sustainable recreational fishing where we do not catch undersized fish or endangered species. It is an important source of food and livelihood. So we need to maintain the balance and be mindful while fishing.”
Another factor, that of Climate Change plays a big impact on the survival of the Tuna fish.
As a result of climate change, the Tuna habitat distribution is changing. We must turn to renewable resources, recycling, controlling our plastic garbage sewage and do everything in our singular daily capacity to prevent the temperatures and acidification of our oceans from increasing day by day.
Research indicates that increasing ocean temperatures are taking a toll on the tuna in the ocean, where rapid warming of the ocean has resulted in a reduction of marine phytoplankton.Changes at the base of the food web would automatically effect fish population.
Oceans play a vital role in climate regulation. They absorb the heat generated by global warming. Both are instricably linked. Now it is up to us humans to ensure a healthy ocean for a healthy Tuna population.
Make a commitment on World Tuna Day, not to purchase the Pacific Bluefin Tuna.
By making good seafood purchasing choices, we can be a part of the change needed to protect this species.