Photo: Help or hindrance: Canada's Role in Recovering Bluefin Tuna

(Credit: Penteado via Wikimedia Commons)

By Scott Wallace, Senior Research Scientist
I've always thought that if the most valuable and wide-ranging fish in the sea could be properly managed, then there is reason to believe any fishery could be conducted sustainably. I never thought Canada would be a country hindering that vision.

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Last November at an international meeting overseeing the management of bluefin tuna, Canada was the lone nation asking for increased fishing quotas of this valuable fish. Adding insult to injury was the fact that Canada was in the midst of a public consultation on whether to list bluefin tuna as endangered under Canada's Species at Risk Act (SARA).

While Canada was unsuccessful in their demand to raise the catch quota, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) agreed to host a meeting for managers and scientists to discuss the huge gaps of knowledge in bluefin tuna science. The meeting is being held June 26-28, 2013 in Montreal. The outcomes of the meeting will influence the next bluefin tuna quota discussion at the November ICCAT meeting in Cape Town, South Africa.

Will Canada help or hinder the recovery of bluefin tuna? My hope this World Oceans Day is that we are part of the solution, not the problem. Keep informed and become an ocean advocate by signing our seafood pledge.

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May 28, 2013

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