Numbers of the fish old enough to reproduce dropped 70 – 80% in both western Atlantic and eastern Atlantic in the past 20 years, just because the popularity with diners leads to overfishing on a regular basis.
Even the most environmentally conscious human, who donates money to conservation organizations regularly, may be guilty of eating habits that are quite unbeknown to them threatening the very species they care to see saved from disappearing.
Why this is was revealed in a recent US study – in 14 states – of restaurant offered shark fin soup, because a too-great variety of under-threat shark species were being used, which cannot help but make you wonder how many other at-risk species suffer the same fate.
Those who are very fond of eat fish and seafood may discover that they can order an endangered species very easily, such as Blue-fin Tuna, fish and invertebrates being the last wild food humanity eats as animal protein. Over-fishing world-wide is causing huge problems, as is global warming, and the human appetite for such foods is relentless.
Should a species be listed – under the United States Endangered Species Act or the Marine Mammal Protection Act – it cannot, in theory, be imported into the country or used as food. It should be noted that a Red List ranking species by threat level is kept updated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, but t is not strictly followed.
With only 10% of 30,000 known fish species evaluated to date, the risks to marine life as a whole become ever obvious, with an expanding human population, so diners need to keep themselves informed enough to make proper decisions when ordering food, being prepared to question the origins of the things offered on the menu.
In the case of Bluefin Tuna, despite an endangered listing on the Red List, and declines in abundance, authorities decided not list them under the Endangered Species Act last year, so that these slow to mature fish – often caught before reaching reproductive ages – on many sushi menus known also asmaguro, kuromaguro or toro, will continue to be targeted by fishermen
Analysis by in 2011 by the Iccat, tuna conservation organization, numbers of the fish old enough to reproduce dropped 70 – 80% in both western Atlantic and eastern Atlantic in the past 20 years, just because the popularity with diners leads to overfishing on a regular basis.
Not that Bluefin are alone in their perilous position, because Sturgeon also grow slowly, living many years and not reproducing until maturity. The unfortunate fact that caviar is so prized means that killing egg-filled females – which has a reverberating effect on the species involved – is the only extraction method possible, and since neither eggs nor the productive female can go on living afterwards, overfishing means that 85% of world sturgeon species are at extinction-level threat, one of the Red List most threatened groups of species.
The sad fact is that tens of thousands of endangered creatures get taken from the wild every day to go into is exotic foods, so for those who truly feel that the earth belongs to every creature that lives upon it, the need to be far more choosy about what you buy as food is plain. Indeed our own survival may depend on it, so think it over.