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3/22/20

Yellowfin Tuna

There are many types of tuna, and yellowfin tuna, or Thunnus albacares is one amazing and endangered kind. Most people think of tuna as just a food, and not many think about it as a fish. Yellowfin tuna are different from other tuna because they have yellow fins, metallic bodies, and silver bellies. They live in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans. Yellowfins can grow up to two and a half meters long, weigh around 200 kg and live about 7 years. Yellowfins are a very impressive animal, but they are also a near threatened animal.

Yellowfin is caught for food, but the way it is caught is unsustainable and is hurting the yellowfin’s population. Much of the yellowfin caught are caught before they can reproduce, which is not sustainable at all. If many fish in each generation of yellowfin aren't able to reproduce, yellowfin tuna’s population numbers will continue to dwindle. Yellowfin has been overfished in many areas and people continue to fish unsustainably to fill the demand for tuna. We need to focus on the fish instead of always caring about trying to fish as much as possible to gain the most amount of money.

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The deteriorating population of Yellowfin tuna affects us all, not just humans who consume them. One way people catch yellowfins is with longlines, which are long baited fishing lines that can be miles long. This method affects the wildlife around the yellowfins because it doesn’t exclusively catch yellowfins. Sharks, other fish, turtles, and seabirds can be accidentally caught in long lines. That is called bycatch. Longline fishing hurts yellowfins and other animals in the ocean. The yellowfin tuna’s population declining also affects the prey of the yellowfin. Yellowfins are top predators, and without them, their prey is allowed to live without threat. This makes there population go out of control. Too much of the prey without the yellowfin to keep them in check can severely damage the complicated ecosystem of the ocean and affect more species than just the yellowfin and its prey.

You can try and limit how much tuna you eat. Yellowfin are being overfished to supply the demand for tuna to eat. If people stop eating as much tuna there won’t be as much of a demand for people to overfish the yellowfin and other species. You can also spread the word. Not many people know about the yellowfin and the environmental cost of eating tuna. You can also buy tuna locally because local fishing businesses are more likely to use more sustainable ways to catch tuna.

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Works Cited

"Yellowfin Tuna." World Wildlife Fund, www.worldwildlife.org/species/yellowfin-tuna. Accessed 22 Mar. 2020.

"If You Eat Tuna, You Should Know These 5 Fish." Greenpeace, 5 May 2014, www.greenpeace.org/usa/eat-tuna-know-fish/. Accessed 22 Mar. 2020.

"5 Endangered Tuna Species - Status - Conservation." Deep Ocean Facts, deepoceanfacts.com/endangered-tuna-species. Accessed 22 Mar. 2020

*all pictures used with permission, and/or taken from the sites above.