by Clayton Coppaway, Jr. Research & Education Officer, MCG

The Atlantic Blue Fin Tuna, Amlamupej in Mi’kmaw, (Thunnus thynnus) could be listed as a Species at Risk under the Federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) due to population declines. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) has recently assessed the endangered status of the Blue Fin Tuna, and recommended that this species be listed as an endangered species under SARA legislation. Listing the Tuna under SARA would result in a suspension of all fishing activities and the creation and development of a recovery strategy.  Early in December 2012 Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) concluded Aboriginal, Government and public consultation and a decision will be reached sometime in 2013.

The Western Atlantic Blue Fin Tuna population has declined by 74% since the early 1970’s. Population estimates for this tuna population have been reduced from 250,000 tuna in 1970 to just 66,000 tuna in 2010. This drop in population has prompted COSEWIC to propose the listing of Blue fin tuna as an endangered species under SARA. Canada, along with 48 other Nations, is part the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) which manages all tuna species fisheries in the Atlantic and Mediterranean Oceans. There are three primary Blue Fin Tuna populations in the Atlantic: the Western Atlantic population which Canadian fishermen harvest from; the Eastern Atlantic population and the Mediterranean population. The Western Atlantic population To ...

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