Some of the most spectacular and sought-after big game fish species swimming the world’s oceans are at risk, including blue marlin and five species of tuna, according to a report to be released by an organization of scientists.
From this story in the New York Times:
_Some of the mightiest fish in the sea, including the blue marlin and five of the eight species of tuna , are facing serious threats, the International Union for Conservation of Nature warned on Thursday.
“…In its first assessment of of the family of Scombridae, which includes the billfishes, tunas, mackerels and bonitos, the organization said that seven of the 61 members of the family faced a serious risk of extinction. Four other species were listed as “near threatened,” while two-thirds were classified in the lowest-risk category. The southern bluefin (Thunnus maccoyii) was listed as “critically endangered,” while the Atlantic bluefin (T. thynnus), the focus of one of the highest-profile ocean conservation efforts now under way, was listed simply as “endangered.” The bigeye tuna (T. obesus) was listed as “vulnerable,” while the yellowfin (T. albacares) is classified as “threatened.” Albacore (T. alalunga) was classified as “near threatened.All three bluefin tuna species are susceptible to collapse under continued excessive fishing pressure,” Kent Carpenter, a professor at Old Dominion University and an author of the paper, said in a statement. “The southern bluefin has already essentially crashed, with little hope of recovery.”
The I.U.C.N. found three species of billfish to be endangered. The blue marlin (Makaira nigricans) and white marlin (Kajikia albida) were classified as “vulnerable,” and the striped marlin (Kajikia audax) as “near threatened.” Marlins are among the world’s most prized blue-water game fish, growing to hundreds of pounds. Their increasing scarcity has led many anglers to practice catch-and-release fishing. The International Game Fish Association and the U.S. National Coalition for Marine Conservation have been running a campaign to “Take Marlin off the Menu” in the hope of ending the commercial harvest and trade in marlin, sailfish and spearfish.
Thoughts? Are any of your favorite gamefish on the list?