How heavy is 35,000 metric tons? For starters, it's the weight of 193 jumbo jets or 2,917 African elephants. It's also the amount of Atlantic bluefin tuna that have exceeded the official catch quota in the Mediterranean Sea in the past two years alone.
Held on the sea's surface or just below with floating devices, driftnets can be miles long. Depending on the size of the mesh, they can entangle anything that happens to swim nearby, including sea turtles, whales, swordfish, and tuna.
Given the worth of each tuna, it's only logical to invest in an electronic documentation system today that could help keep these awe-inspiring fish around for fishermen, conservationists, seafood lovers and scientists for generations to come.
Many people have heard of bluefin tuna, even if they haven't eaten it. Traditional bluefin fisheries used to be sustainable, but loosely regulated industrial-scale fishing changed everything for this amazing fish.
From poking fun at disgruntled vegans to emphasizing the quirky antics used to irritate some of the ocean's greatest foes, Peter J. Brown highlights the trials and tribulations of what it takes to be a genuine eco-warrior on the high seas.
One of the weaknesses of the Endangered Species Act is that it sets a floor -- preventing total extinction -- rather than setting a standard of abundant populations. The bluefin is on a path to endangerment. And so we wait.
This year, President Obama issued an executive order to implement conservation-based management of our public seas, while marine researchers discovered an area in the Pacific containing 40 times more plastic than plankton.