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Bluefin Tuna - Prized Sushi, Fast Swimmer

bluefin blue


Bluefin tuna is considered by many to be the best fish in the world to eat raw. Though not the best thing to be known for, the tasty reputation of the bluefin explains its endangered status. The Southern bluefin tuna is considered by the IUCN to be "critically endangered": largely a result of overfishing. It is the southern bluefin specifically, and not some of its close cousins which are disappearing from oceans. Pacific bluefins, yellowfins and albacore tuna are all not considered threatened species by the IUCN.



tuna market japan




These popular perciformes can grow to be over 8 feet long (2.5m) and can weigh up to 900 pounds (400 kg) or more! Despite their large size, these fish are quick and agile. Their long, slim bodies and short fins are part of a slick package full of muscle which sends the bluefin shooting through the warm waters of the southern hemisphere. Unfortunately, they don't swim fast enough to escape the nets. The most expensive fish ever sold was a bluefin tuna weighing 754 lb (342 kg) which sold in a Toyko fish market for the equivalent of $736,000 (over $1,200 per pound). Wow, I hope that they made a lot of good sushi out of that fish.

There has been a large effort by the international community to protect the bluefin from extinction, including limiting the fishing rights of the scarce species to only the highest bidders. Between the difficulties in raising bluefin tuna in farms and persistent demands in major Japanese and US markets, factors continue to threaten the future of the beautiful bluefin.


enormous bluefin tuna





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