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Sushi’s Popularity Puts Bluefin Tuna At Risk Of Extinction

Consumer demand for dishes like sushi and sashimi has put the bluefin tuna at risk of extinction. Consumer demand for dishes like sushi and sashimi has put the Pacific Bluefin tuna at risk of extinction. Its status has been changed from ‘least concern’ to ‘vulnerable’ by Switzerland’s International Union for Conservation of Nature, or IUCN. The organization said that Asian markets bear much of the responsibility for the current Bluefin situation. Among the countries with a large demand for the fish is Japan, which imports about 80 percent of the total tuna catch. Some of the Bluefin varieties are sold at a premium price. In 2013, a 440-pound specimen commanded over 1.75 million dollars.The big ones, however, aren’t the most serious part of the problem.Much of the population issue comes from the practice catching young fish that have yet to produce offspring. Unfortunately, it’s the newest generation that constitutes the majority of most catches.Said Bruce Collette, the chair of the specific branch of the IUCN that oversees tuna survival, "The Pacific Bluefin Tuna market value continues to rise. Unless fisheries implement the conservation and management measures developed for the Western and Central Pacific Ocean, including a reduction in the catches of juvenile fish, we cannot expect its status to improve in the short term."

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