The Beacon

Blog Tags: Bluefin Tuna

As ICCAT Begins, Bluefin Hangs in the Balance

Yesterday the 17th Special Meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) began in Paris, France. Oceana is in Paris with this simple message for the ICCAT delegates: Restore depleted bluefin tuna and shark populations.

Oceana’s chief scientist and head-of-delegation Dr. Michael Hirshfield had this to say as the meeting commenced:

“We can not continue to let the demand for sharks and bluefin tuna drive these populations toward extinction. Immediate and proper international management is needed now or we will empty the oceans of these top predators and vastly change the oceans as we know them today… Oceana hopes the next ten days are not wasted playing ‘politics.’ The science is clear and it is time to get to work.”

And you can help us put the pressure on -- tell the US and EU delegates at ICCAT to increase protections for sharks and bluefin tuna!

For more info about ICCAT, bluefin tuna, sharks, swordfish and sea turtles, and for downloadable images, check out http://oceana.org/ICCAT. We’ll keep you posted as the meeting goes on.


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Oceana Prepares to Defend Bluefin Again at ICCAT

Starting next week, the 17th Special Meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) will meet in Paris, France. It’s another year, and another chance for the international body to take greater action to prevent the extinction of bluefin tuna, and to better protect sharks, swordfish and sea turtles.

We will have a team of scientists in Paris, and they will be calling on ICCAT to do the following:

* Suspend the bluefin tuna fishery until a system is implemented that follows the scientific advice on catch levels, stops illegal fishing and protects bluefin tuna spawning areas in the Gulf of Mexico and Mediterranean.


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Tuna-fy Yourself!

Spanish singer Miguel Bose, bluefin tuna-fied.

If you thought bluefin tuna were just another faceless fish, you thought wrong. Not only are they some of the fastest and most impressive predators in the ocean, they are also in serious trouble from overfishing.

In a few weeks, the world will have a chance to change bluefin’s fate, and we are asking you all to spread the word – by putting your face on this threatened fish. How, you ask? Well, our colleagues in Europe just launched a website, www.stoptunablues.org, where you can do just that.

From November 17-27th, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) will meet in Paris. ICCAT is an international body responsible for the conservation and management of bluefin, and Oceana will be in Paris to pressure the Commission to do more to protect bluefin.  

Bluefin may not be as cuddly as panda bears, but you are – so help us save bluefin by offering your (incredibly attractive) likeness to the cause, and then spread the word on Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, and any other way you want!


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Six Months Later, the Gulf is Still Healing

Remember this? NASA image from April 29, 2010.

Today marks the six month anniversary of the start of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Around 200 million gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico. More than 6,000 birds, more than 600 sea turtles, and almost 100 marine mammals have died, and news surfaced this week that the spill likely killed 20 percent of juvenile Atlantic bluefin tuna in the vicinity of the spill. And the long-term effects remain to be seen.

It was the nation’s largest environmental disaster in history, and yet, there’s a pervading sense that the disaster is behind us, that the majority of the country has taken a deep breath and moved on. Congress hasn’t passed climate legislation, and the Obama administration lifted the moratorium on deepwater oil drilling several weeks earlier than planned.

What’s wrong with this picture?

We’re frustrated. If you are too, here are some ways to channel that frustration into action:

1. Tell your Senators to support the development of offshore wind power. We have a new report out that shows how offshore wind would be cost-effective, more beneficial to job creation, and better for the environment and ocean in a variety of ways than offshore drilling.


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New Oceana Magazine Hot Off the Press

The latest issue of the Oceana magazine is available for your reading pleasure. In this issue, along with the latest news, victories and events, we bring you the following outstanding ocean features:

*An interview with Oceana’s Pacific Science Director and oil pollution expert, Jeff Short

*Do you know where your seafood comes from? Digging into the confusing (and sometimes sickening) question of seafood traceability in the U.S.

*A photo essay capturing the Gulf of Mexico oil spill

*A Q&A with “Entourage” star and Oceana supporter, Adrian Grenier, who recently filmed a PSA about bluefin tuna with us.

Read all of these and more in the full issue.


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Adrian Grenier Joins Oceana to Protect Bluefin Tuna

Last week Oceana launched a new bluefin tuna PSA campaign featuring “Entourage” star Adrian Grenier. In March, Grenier joined Oceana to swim with the endangered fish and help get the word out that they are “going fast” -- literally and figuratively.

Bluefin can grow to 15 feet in length, weigh up to 1500 pounds and can swim at speeds of more than 50 miles per hour. They are on the verge of extinction as a result of overfishing, and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico further threatens their survival.

The Gulf is the only place where the Western population of Atlantic bluefin tuna reproduces. After the spawning season (April to June), baby tuna continue to swim through the Gulf region where they can accumulate toxins in their gills from the oil itself and from the chemical dispersants.

“I hope that my involvement will bring attention to what is going on in the bluefin fishery,” Grenier said. “I want these PSAs to encourage people to get involved and help Oceana save these amazing creatures.”

Watch the PSA and get involved with Adrian and Oceana to protect bluefin!

 

Adrian Grenier Wants To Stop Bluefin Tuna From Going Too Fast from Oceana on Vimeo.


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Oil Spill Quote of the Day

From yesterday’s New York Times:

“This is a much bigger problem than people are making out,” said Barbara Block, a Stanford researcher who is among the world’s leading experts on the bluefin tuna. “The concern for wildlife is not just along the coast; it is also at sea. We’re putting oil right into the bluewater environment.”


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10 Ways the Oil Spill Could Affect Marine Life

oiled bird

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

While oil-covered birds have become an emblematic image of catastrophic oil spills, sea birds aren’t the only ones affected. Oil is extremely toxic to all wildlife, and the toxic effects on marine life begins as soon as the oil hits the water.

 


Here are 10 examples of how marine life may be affected by the Gulf spill in the coming days, weeks and years


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The Scanner: Moving Forward Edition

Happy Friday, everyone.

It's been a rough few weeks for the oceans at CITES, but now it's time to pick up the pieces. If CITES taught us anything, it's that the work of the ocean conservation community is more important than ever.

This week in ocean news,

....Rick at Malaria, Bed bugs, Sea Lice and Sunsets discussed one of the more shady aspects of CITES: the secret ballots, which were invoked for votes on bluefin tuna, sharks, polar bears, and deep water corals.

…The Washington Post reported that Maryland is cracking down on watermen who catch oysters in protected sanctuaries or with banned equipment. Once a principal source of oysters, the Chesapeake now provides less than 5 percent of the annual U.S. harvest.

…For the first time, scientists were able to use videos to observe octupuses’ behavioral responses. The result? The octupuses had no consistent reaction to one film -- in other words, they had no “personality.” Curiously, other cephalopods display consistent personalities for most of their lives.

…The New York Times wondered if the 700,000 saltwater home aquariums in the United States and the associated trade in reef invertebrates are threatening real reef ecosystems.


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Sights on CITES: The Bitter End

This is the ninth in a series of dispatches from the CITES meeting in Doha, Qatar.

As Oceana marine scientist Elizabeth Griffin put it: “This meeting was a flop.”

CITES has been a complete failure for the oceans. The one success -- the listing of the porbeagle shark under Appendix II -- was overturned yesterday in the plenary session.

The future of bluefin tuna, the eight proposed species of sharks and red and pink corals now hangs in the balance.

“It appears that money can buy you anything, just ask Japan,” said Dave Allison, senior campaign director. “Under the crushing weight of the vast sums of money gained by unmanaged trade and exploitation of endangered marine species by Japan, China, other major trading countries and the fishing industry, the very foundation of CITES is threatened with collapse.”

Maybe next time -- if these species are still around to be protected.

The failure of CITES means that Oceana’s work – and your support and activism – is more important than ever. You can start by supporting our campaign work to protect these creatures.

Here's Oceana's Gaia Angelini on the conclusion of CITES:

 


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