Tuna Farming

Challenges in Sustainable Tuna Farming

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The rise in sushi’s popularity since the 1950s led to overfishing of Atlantic bluefin tuna. In a significant advancement, the Spanish Institute of Oceanography achieved the first successful breeding of bluefin tuna in land-based tanks July of 2023, a potential boon for sustainability.

Yet, this method faces challenges. Atlantic bluefins, natural long-distance swimmers, may not adapt well to captivity, and breeding methods could induce stress. In hatcheries, a high death rate among tuna larvae is observed, with some dying due to unnatural causes like crashing into tank walls or stress from tank transfers.

Environmental concerns also arise from offshore farming, like reduced biodiversity and disease outbreaks.

Slaughter methods for large and small tuna also raise welfare questions. While shooting large tuna underwater is theorized to cause minimal suffering, the process of crowding and stabbing smaller tuna is more distressing.

Despite these issues, better welfare practices could align with the industry’s economic interests, potentially leading to improvements in fish farming conditions. This would be a game-changer. (Read More)