Campaign bluefin tunaAn icon of history and culture.
The bluefin tuna is one of the most fascinating fish in the world that since Neolithic times has been part of the Mediterranean culture. So much so that Phoenicians and Romans venerated this emblematic fish, which sustained them with their meat rich in proteins, and reflected their importance by using them as an image on their coins.
In order to prevent the bluefin tuna, an icon of history and culture from disappearing forever from our seas, the conservation campaign led by Palma Aquarium calls for the recovery of artisanal and sustainable fishing arts such as tuna traps; the reduction of the consumption of this species; and to fight against illegal fishing, plus the creation of sanctuaries where the bluefin tuna is safe to guarantee its reproduction.
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Palma Aquarium launches its bluefin tuna conservation campaign.
Palma Aquarium has extended and spread awareness on the status of the Bluefin tuna in many areas, universities, schools, hotels, restaurants, media, etc.
At a regional level and directed towards the Balearic society, through the campaign “Save the Tuna” PAQ has worked intensely on informing the general public. The difficult situation of Bluefin tuna is not a new problem, it is a problem that has been worsening for about fifteen years, however, and until different fauna and flora protection and conservation organizations became active; the real and sad situation of the Bluefin tuna was not exposed. Up until these ONG`s started to report and denounce the plight, no progress was made to stop the serious decline to which the tuna populations in the Mediterranean were displayed. Once public opinion has gained knowledge of the problem, it is when enough pressure was exerted to act accordingly.
The overall situation of the Bluefin tuna has improved in the last few years and the amount of tuna that is allowed to capture each year is reduced, meaning that each country can fish up to a certain number of tons each year, and this amount is reducing each year until the year 2022 to ensure that populations remain as stable as possible.
The control and supervision is now much more strict and firm. This supposes some immediate and important cuts that favour the recovery of the species. The fisheries capacity of Bluefin tuna, as well as the capacity of aquaculture has also been reduced.
Among other measures that have been adopted as part of the ICCAT Bluefin tuna recovery plan (International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas), the following should be highlighted; establishment of rules for sport and recreational fishing, an observer program, control of traps, control of purse-seine vessel operations in the Mediterranean and fattening farms, allocation of individual quotas per vessel, authorized lists of vessels of Bluefin tuna fishing and greater control in port and ports designated for the landing of Bluefin tuna. With these measures in the last two years, there has been a slight increase in tuna populations.
Palma Aquariums conservation campaign “Save the Tuna” has been successful in all areas where it has been exposed and the key to such success has been to tell the general public the real and clear situation of the species.
Palma Aquarium has made the problem available to its local community and the community itself has been the one that has responded by changing their consumption habits and acquiring sufficient awareness to act in favour of a species that comes year after year to the Balearics to spawn.
2015 / 2016
urrently the situation of Bluefin tuna has changed a lot, and there is evidence that this change is for the better.
In 2008 the Bluefin tuna populations were on the verge of collapse, the scientific committees were alarmed and several measures were taken to alleviate the situation. In 2012, an increase in the populations was seen that amounted to high records and it was a record year of stock that coincided with the juveniles that had been protected since 2008. This fact changed the state of balance and the species was found at a very optimal level. The year after that extraordinary year, that is the year 2013, a population decline was seen, which was not understood as a negative incident, since when a high peak is reached, it is usually stabilizes the following year. During the year 2014 the populations were maintained and the species continues to be in 2015 and 2016 at a higher level. The proof is that at present the studies of tuna larvae show that 95% are Bluefin tuna. We have to take into account that there are different cycles every year and some species that see their populations depleted one year may recover and increase their population status in a surprising way and vice versa. This natural biological phenomenon affects all species in one way or another.
Our most sincere appreciation to Francisco Alemany, a scientific researcher within the Spanish Institute of Oceanography in the Balearic Islands.
A decade has passed since Palma Aquarium launched its first public conservation campaign, 10 years already!
After this intense period of research, dissemination and promotion, with certain sadness we conclude the campaign.
During these ten years we have learned so much, we have met extraordinary people, talked to field scientists, contacted experts on the other side of the world and have worked hard to outstand the threats of a species that was on the verge of extinction.
This year we removed the Bluefin exhibition within Palma Aquarium and although the work of keeping the campaign alive for so long has been an unforgettable experience, we are also very pleased to see that little by little the species is recovering. So having done our bit to help in the recovery of an emblematic animal in our waters and of a relevant importance in the whole world, we say goodbye and good luck to Bluefin tuna and make room for another campaign, species or exhibition that needs to be made aware.