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Wildlife Wednesday: Atlantic Bluefin Tuna

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Wildlife Wednesday: Atlantic Bluefin Tuna

This Wildlife Wednesday, learn about the Atlantic bluefin tuna, and how to keep this fish off your plate.

This Wildlife Wednesday, learn about the Atlantic bluefin tuna, and how to keep this impressive fish off your plate.

Habitat: the open ocean of the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Mediterranean Sea

Atlantic bluefin tuna trivia

  • According to the National Geographic, the bluefin tuna “is one of the largest, fastest, and most gorgeously coloured of all the world’s fishes.” It’s true: they can travel at 43 miles (70 kilometers) per hour, and their glimmering bodies shine blue on the top and silver on the bottom. This disguise helps them blend into their surroundings from above and below.
  • The bluefin tuna is carnivorous and huge—it can weigh 550 pounds and grow up to 6.5 feet in length on average (much bigger ones have been recorded, the largest being 1,496 pounds), and live for 15 years.
  • One thing that makes this fish special is its warm-bloodedness, which allows it to thrive in many different temperatures.

Why they’re threatened and how to help

Bluefin tuna is considered a top-notch fish for sushi and sashimi. In fact, the world record for the most expensive bluefin tuna was set in January 2012, when a 593-pound bluefin tuna sold in Japan for a mind-boggling $736,000. That’s a lot of sashimi.

However, because of its demand, the bluefin has been overfished and is not recovering. It is listed as endangered.

Individuals can easily do their part to protect the bluefin tuna in their daily lives—don’t buy bluefin tuna (or choose it at a restaurant). Encourage your friends and family to do the same. If you notice that a store or restaurant carries it, speak to a manager or owner about removing it from their supply or menu. If a menu just lists “tuna” ask what kind it is.

Learn more about overfishing from our recent article “Loaves and Fishes” as well as how to choose sustainable seafood. Plus, this recent article includes delicious recipes for non-threatened seafood.

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