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Overfishing: Bluefin Tuna What is Overfishing? Overfishing can be defines as fishing with a sufficiently high intensity to reduce the breeding stock levels to such an extent that they will no longer support a sufficient quantity of fish for sport or commercial harvest. Atlantic Bluefin tuna, the most valuable fish among the fish market is in danger of becoming extinct within the next couple of years due to over fishing.

Part of the problem is that they are being caught as early as four years old, and don’t start to reproduce till around eight years of age; many are caught before they can even reproduce. This has lead to a ninety percent drop in the species from 1970.

Location of the Problem
Atlantic Bluefin tuna live in open water mainly around the eastern and western part of the Atlantic Ocean. The tuna spawn in the Gulf of Mexico where quota (in tones) is much lower then along the east side of the Atlantic. The largest yield of Atlantic Bluefin tuna is in the Mediterranean Sea.

Overfishing started in the 1970’s with the introduction to bigger and more effective vessels that were able to catch more fish more effectively. The Atlantic Bluefin tuna gained popularity in the 1970’s with the introduction of the international sushi market.

Possible Solutions
Measures are being taken right now to try to stop overfishing by making stricter quotas and setting up aquacultures. The 2009 Atlantic Bluefin Tuna quota is 22,000 tones, a twenty percent decrease from the previous year. Yet despite the quota many more Tuna will be caught. When a fish like this is so prized people are willing to break rules to satisfy their greed. In 2007 the quota was 29,000 tones, the ending result was estimated to be between 39,000 and 54,000 tones (ICCAT: International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas).
In the mid-20th century, international...

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