The biggest threat to our species: the big fish
The biggest fish in the world may not even be big enough to eat, yet its habitat is shrinking and its ecosystem is under threat.
In the western Pacific Ocean, where the species is found, the Pacific bluefin tuna is the only species on the planet that can be caught.
But scientists are finding that it is increasingly rare.
It’s not only rare for bluefin to survive for long periods of time; it’s also rare for it to reproduce, which means it’s more susceptible to extinction.
“We’re seeing this huge increase in the numbers of the bluefin and other fish species that are not responding well to habitat loss,” says David Krieger, a fisheries biologist at the University of Washington in Seattle.
“They are doing well, but they’re not responding to the same levels of recovery that they used to, which has been a big concern.”
Krieger’s research team has been studying bluefin for a decade.
The goal of their research is to identify key factors that can make the blue fin tuna more susceptible than other fish to the effects of habitat loss.
But he’s also concerned that the research is starting to reveal the biggest threat in the Pacific, which he says is the threat posed by the global expansion of fish farms.
Kriegers team is working with scientists from the US, the Philippines, Japan and Australia to identify the most effective conservation measures for blue fin.
These measures will include more frequent and intensive monitoring and monitoring in areas that are critical to bluefin’s survival, like the waters off Hawaii.
Kriegers team is also looking at whether there are other species that might also be under threat, such as the Atlantic bluefin.
“The other thing that we’re seeing is that we are seeing a lot of the same things that we have seen with bluefin in the west Pacific,” he says.
“A lot of that is the fish that are in the tank that are the primary producers.
They’re producing a lot more than the fish in a tank that’s not producing anything.
And the more the fish are producing, the more susceptible they are to the impacts of habitat change.”
Krieger says it’s important to note that bluefin fishing is not necessarily for recreational purposes.
“We’re just looking at the impacts that we’ve seen on the species in general,” he explains.
“This is a very important work because it’s the most comprehensive look we have to date at the issue of bluefin populations and the impacts on their population.”
In the past few years, bluefin fishermen in the United States have noticed that their catch has dropped by nearly 50% compared to a few years ago.
In some areas, the blue fins have been caught by smaller tuna.
In an interview with Al Jazeera, Kriegers said: “A lot more people have caught bluefin because the fisheries in those areas are not doing well and the numbers are dropping.”
That is a big change.
People have been really concerned.
Kielger says that in the western US, there are now a few areas where bluefin catches have increased. “
It’s really a really great thing for the economy, it’s really good for the ecosystem and it’s very, very important for the people who are caught,” he said.
Kielger says that in the western US, there are now a few areas where bluefin catches have increased.
But he says that the majority of the catch has been in the Atlantic, and that blue fins can only live for so long in those waters.
“There’s not enough of them to sustain the population,” he told Al Jazeera.
“I think that there’s going to be a lot less and a lot fewer of these species going to the ocean in the future.”
Kielgers team hopes to find a solution for blue fins in other parts of the Pacific by working with other fisheries and scientists.
“If we can get people to recognize that this is a problem, to recognize the impact on bluefin that is occurring, then we can begin to make a change in the fishing practices,” he added.
“In the Pacific Northwest, I’m seeing more and more bluefin, particularly the big ones, and the bluefins are really doing really well,” he tells Al Jazeera about his research.
“They’re very resilient, they can live for hundreds of years, and they have this amazing resilience.”
It’s not just a concern for bluefishes, it affects all of the species, and we’re just seeing an increase in their numbers,” Kienberg added.”
I think we need to be really conscious about the impact of climate change on all of these fish.