BLUEFIN BOYCOTT: HELP SAVE BLUEFIN TUNA BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE
The bluefin tuna, one of the world’s most remarkable ocean creatures, is in trouble and needs your help. Overfishing is driving this mighty warm-blooded fish toward the brink of extinction, and yet many sushi restaurants continue to serve it.
The Bluefin Brigade was founded by the Center for Biological Diversity on November 30, 2010, to reduce consumer demand for imperiled bluefin tuna — and just a week later, more than 20,000 people had joined us. Please sign our pledge today not to eat bluefin tuna and to boycott restaurants that advertise it on their menu. Then read our FAQ to get more informed, download our Bluefin Boycott poster and flier to spread the word and sign up for future alerts about how you can help save species.
Too often viewed only as sushi, the bluefin tuna is an extraordinary specimen of ocean wildlife, growing up to 10 feet long and sometimes weighing as much as 1,200 pounds. Unlike almost all fish, bluefin tuna are warm-blooded and able to regulate their body temperature, which helps during their epic 60-day journeys across the Atlantic. Bluefin tuna are top ocean predators and sometimes hunt cooperatively, much like wolves. With streamlined bodies and retractable fins, bluefin can bolt through the water at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour and are capable of crossing oceans in the course of only a few weeks.
Unfortunately, due to its popularity as sushi, its high commercial value and its ability to cross international boundaries, the bluefin tuna is being severely overfished and is at risk of extinction.
Since 1970, Atlantic bluefin tuna have declined by more than 80 percent due to overfishing. In the eastern Atlantic, the majority of the decline has occurred in the past ten years as they’ve been caught, without regulatory oversight, for fish farming. In the western Atlantic, halfway through a 20-year government “rebuilding program” for the severely depleted population, there are nearly 10 percent fewer fish than at the beginning of the program.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists two species of bluefin, the Atlantic and the southern, as endangered or critically endangered on its “Red List” of imperiled species. The Pacific bluefin tuna is not yet listed, but overfishing is now occurring, according to the National Marine Fisheries Service.
In spring 2010, bluefin tuna took a major hit at the height of its spawning season: Scientists estimate that BP’s massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico killed more than 20 percent of juvenile western Atlantic bluefin tuna this year. That estimate doesn’t consider the expected long-term negative effects of the oil spill in the tuna’s breeding habitat.
Sadly, bluefin tuna remains a prized menu item in some restaurants. The sushi market keeps prices for tuna high — a single tuna sold for $177,000 in a fish market in 2010 — and encourages illegal and unreported fishing. Despite outcry from concerned people, many sushi restaurants across the globe continue to serve bluefin tuna. One common question: How can you tell if the tuna you are ordering is bluefin? The best way to tell is to check the menu and ask. Another broad rule of thumb: If it’s expensive, it could be bluefin.
You can help save bluefin from overfishing. Right now, the National Marine Fisheries Service is deciding whether to list the Atlantic bluefin tuna under the Endangered Species Act in response to a Center for Biological Diversity petition. Join the Bluefin Boycott by signing the pledge today and visit Bluefin Brigade Facebook page.