Bluefin Tuna in the Artic Linked to Scary Climate Change

Apparently, climate change is warming the waters of the Arctic Ocean and this is encouraging the bluefin tuna to chase their mackerel prey into these waters — and this is a bad thing?

According to a writer on such issues at TakePart, this change is bad, however there is no mention of how or why it is bad. However, there are several mentions that this is the result of climate change and this strange explanation:

Climate change is really challenging political and diplomatic relationships,” said Nick Dulvy, a professor of marine biodiversity and conservation at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia. “Species names will change, and if your quotas are tied to a species name, that’s a problem for the fishery.

Numerous comments and responses to this article, from the shocking to the more realistic and informative, this one was particularly useful:

I hate to be the devil’s advocate (I am a journalist, sorry), but to find bluefin tuna in the cold water of the Arctic is no suprise at all. This fish is one of the few to have a warm blood system, of about 30°C. Hence, the bluefin tuna can hunt for prey from the very warm water of Brazil to the very cold of Arctic, without any problem. It is not new at all. For ages, the bluefin tuna just follows its prey, wherever they are. The news can be that (cold blooded) prey are moving North… If some of you are interested in the topic (and read French), look carefully at this.

Do you also find this this correlation interesting?

Comments (3)

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  1. Mike says:

    I would be interested in a fisherman’s perspective on the issue. The linked Ocean 71 article makes me wonder about the accuracy of reports provided by environmental groups. Are their actions entirely peaceful? To whom are they accountable in their policing? An effective response to changes in fisheries would best include, rather than alienate, those who rely on those resources.

  2. Santiago Bello says:

    Perhaps the journalist is right, maybe we should instead be focusing on what is causing the tuna’s movement. Displaced agents tend to have a ripple effect in nature, and that effect, frankly, is an interesting thought which may have more political significance in the long-run. Tuna movements may be the outcome of a ripple itself.

  3. I am the journalist who left the comment on the TakePart article. Just to make things clear, with our team of marine journalists, we conducted a full year investigation on the bluefin tuna industry in the Mediterranean sea. One of the things that we discovered concerning the reality of the bluefin tuna’s threat of extinction is that NGO’s (including Greenpeace) actions were at first good (confirmed by fishermen themselves), in the sense they raised awareness about a situation that was out of control between 2000 and 2005. The French fishermen say that in the worst years, they were about 500 fishing boats (legal and illegal) chasing for the big bluefin tunas in the Med. Today’s problem is that NGOs (like Greenpeace, WWF and Seashepherd) are economically trapped. If they publicly say that the situation of the bluefin tuna has improved, thanks to more controls, less people give them money to fight against poachers and big corporations. So, sadly, they have to dramatize (sometimes using lies) the situation for any given species, like the bluefin tuna, in order to get funds. Moreover, the public is not able to question their assumptions for the simple reason that they are no journalist, with marine skills, in the high sea who can verify what they are saying. Hence, the creation of a media like OCEAN71 Magazine. Thanks a lot for your interest and support in what we are doing. Julien P.