Saturday, March 26, 2011


Tuna are salt water fish from the family Scombridae, mostly in the genus Thunnus. Tuna are fast swimmers, and some species are capable of speeds of 70 km/h. Unlike most fish, which have white flesh, the muscle tissue of tuna ranges from pink to dark red. Tuna is an important commercial fish, unfortunately.
According to the WWF, "Japan's huge appetite for tuna will take the most sought-after stocks to the brink of commercial extinction unless fisheries agree on more rigid quotas". Japan's Fisheries Research Agency counters that Australian and New Zealand tuna fishing companies under-report their total catches of southern bluefin tuna and ignore internationally mandated total allowable catch totals.
The times of Basque fishermen hand-netting for tuna lies far behind us. 
Dolphins swim beside several tuna species. Tuna schools are believed to associate themselves with dolphins for protection against sharks, which are tuna predators. Commercial fishing vessels used to exploit this association by searching for dolphin pods. Vessels would encircle the pod with nets to catch the tuna beneath. however the nets were prone to entangling dolphins, injuring or killing them. Public outcry and new government regulations, which are now monitored by the NOAA have led to more "dolphin friendly" methods, now generally involving lines rather than nets. 
Despite all "dolphin-friendly labelling", according to Consumers Union, the lack of accountability means claims that tuna that is "dolphin safe" should be given little credence.

1 comment:

  1. I love that particular brand of tuna from my Basque country! In fact, i eat it all the time. There is, however, a more superior brand named ARROYABE (click the following LINK to learn more)

    Incidentally, as you may notice, the sailor on the ARROYABE tuna tin is also wearing a Basque beret :)