Fisheries management

Tuna regional fisheries management organizations, FAO, 2010

Unease mounts with rising food prices and food shortages are an international concern. Tuna is a topic for the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

“Tuna and tuna-like species are very important economically and a significant source of food,” notes FAO, pointing out there are about 40 species of tuna. “Annual global production has tended to increase continuously from less than 0.6 million tonnes in 1950 to almost 9.5 million tonnes. ”

Principal market species include albacore as well as skipjack, yellowfin, bigeye and three species of bluefin. Surprisingly, the FAO does not tackle overfishing of specific species head on, other than to generally note that temperate species – albacore and blue fin –  are less productive than tropical species and may be more prone to over-exploitation. “If tuna fisheries continue to be profitable, the intensity of fishing may even increase as a result of fishing overcapacity unless it is effectively restrained by fisheries management measures,” FAO notes.

FAO “leads international efforts to defeat hunger,” notes its website. “Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy.” FAO links to Tuna-org, which provides information on the various organizations overseeing tuna management.

To defeat hunger, sustainability is essential.

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