Overfishing: Risky to them, Risky to Us

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 4:14 PM

I have been thinking about the overfishing of bluefin tuna and what drives the problem. I have been searching through different sites and what sticks out to me is over consumption and a growing demand for this fish. This is strange to me because bluefin tuna are going extinct, but are people also aware of the health risks involved?

If growing demand were to be reversed, bluefin tuna would not be so overfished. So, educating each other through things like consumer guides at the grocery store might be a start. This is what Oceana suggests. Some kind of guide or warning should even be at restaurants because bluefin tuna has high mercury levels, as much as ones that are on the FDA’s “do not eat” list. There is a good chart of this on pg 15 of Oceana’s report. A link to Oceana’s full report can be found through http://www.earthjustice.org/news/press/2008/high-mercury-content-in-bluefin-tuna-not-only-reason-to-pass-on-the-sushi.html Once at this site, click on the very last link at the end of the article. Particularly, pg 15 (Figure 2B) of Oceana's report shows a graph of bluefin tuna having as much mercury as king mackerel, which is on the FDA’s “do not eat” list.

I’m surprised something more has not been done considering bluefin tuna's health risks. Are people keeping quiet about it because of the growing demand? This makes me wonder about how many other things we are kept in the dark about simply because there are people out there who want to make money. It is up to us to be informed, then.

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