URI Research project aims at rescuing bluefin tuna fishery

091202012BluefishBluefin tuna, as watchers of environmental TV programs know, are an endangered species whose numbers in the world’s oceans are being depleted by the voracious market for such delicacies as sushi. The Atlantic bluefin tuna fishery is in danger as are the fisheries for other types of giant tuna in the Pacific and the Mediterranean.

The market for tuna is so great that tuna “ranching” operations have sprung up around the world where entrepreneurs capture wild tuna and place them in huge pens to fatten them up. Out of fear that the market will collapse unless steps are taken to increase the species, some ranching operations are now entering into aquaculture operations to try to breed the fish. But breeding bluefin tuna is a difficult task requiring precise conditions and timing.