On-board Diary: Sampling for Tuna Larvae

Author: Keith Ellenbogen
Date: July 13, 2008



Oceana is collaborating with Oceanographic Institute researchers, conducting essential research to sample targeted areas within the Southern Tyrrhenian Sea for larvae of the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna and other pelagic species such as swordfish.

One of the many goals for Oceana is to utilize this data to confirm these are fertile breeding waters for The Atlantic Bluefin — and that conservation measures are needed immediately to prevent the endangered Atlantic Bluefin Tuna from becoming extinct.

Expedition Leader Xavier Pastor and lead scientist Patricia Lastra have identified a number of sampling sites within this region to survey. The procedure for inserting the net into the water is to — use the Marviva Med’s crane to raise, lower and tow the 18ft/6m long mesh nets just below the surface for10 minutes at 2 nautical miles per hour to catch larvae 3-7mm in size.