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THE QUEBEC REGION BULLETIN
OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2012/VOLUME 15/NUMBER 5
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Atlantic Bluefin Tuna at risk
The consultation is underway
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna
DFO C. MacDonald

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is studying whether to list Atlantic Bluefin Tuna on the List of Wildlife Species at Risk and encourages people and organizations concerned about the survival of this species to share their opinions before December 14, 2012.

The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) has determined that this species is at risk of disappearing. It reports that overfishing continues despite the fact that the number of adults able to spawn is the lowest it has ever been. In addition, a portion of these adults (and probably also eggs and larvae) were exposed to oil spilled by the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

If the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna is listed on the list of protected species in Canada under the Species at Risk Act (SARA), its recovery will have to be planned and conservation measures will come into effect immediately.

A surprising fish

The Bluefin Tuna, a mythical fish with a profile similar to a torpedo, is an extremely efficient swimmer. It travels long distances through the water, from Newfoundland to the Gulf of Mexico. It is warm-blooded, a special feature that enables it to dive 1 000 metres and survive cold waters. This is an important advantage enabling the fish to feed itself in the abundant waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. This majestic fish can reach more than 3 metres long and weigh up to 400 kg.

A wanted fish

Bluefin Tuna is fished in Canada and international waters. Its management is mainly the responsibility of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCTA). In Canada, ICCTA’s allocation of 489 tonnes in 2012 was the subject of an integrated fisheries management plan. The delicate flesh of the Bluefin Tuna, destined for sushi and other refined meals, fetches a high price on a very lucrative market.

Share your thoughts and concerns

A consultation guide will enable you to share your opinion about protecting the Bluefin Tuna under SARA. It is accessible from the Species at Risk Public Registry website. For more information, contact Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Species at Risk Management Division at 1-877-775-0848.

Species profile

Consultation Documents


Myriam Bourgeois
Ecosystem Management
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