In 2011, most tuna species were considered at serious risk of extinction, following decades of relentless commercial fishing. Thankfully, some of these species are on the way to recovery, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) which recently released an update of its Red List.
IUCN reassessed the status of seven commonly fished tuna species and came back with promising findings for four of them. The Atlantic tuna moved from ‘endangered’ to ‘least concern’ and the status of the Southern bluefin changed from ‘critically endangered’ to ‘endangered.’ The other two species, the albacore, and yellowfin, both went from ‘near threatened’ to ‘least concern.’
“These Red List assessments are proof that sustainable fisheries approaches work, with enormous long-term benefits for livelihoods and biodiversity,” said Dr. Bruce B Collette, chair of the IUCN SSC Tuna and Billfish Specialist Group. “We need to continue enforcing sustainable fishing quotas and cracking down on illegal fishing.”
Though the good news brings new hope for the fate of the tuna fish, the update also highlighted the fact that there are still tens of thousands of fish species at risk of extinction. This means that we need to further maintain and even boost conservation efforts all over the world, especially amidst the growing threats of climate change.