Environment and Society: Part Two

Tuna: Chapter 12

I was drawn to this section because I like tuna. Plan and simple it interested me. The introduction of this chapter reminded me of the more relavent documentary The Cove. I think I was shocked at the waste of life that was being explained. They stated that during the capture of tuna for canning many dolphins are trapped in the nets and die before they can be freed. However, they are tragetting the tuna by using the easily spotted dolphins. How can they feel moral about doing this? That bothers me.

Also, at the end of the first section there were some qustions that caught me off guard and I couldn’t answer. I don’t know what method is used for tuna capture. I don’t know which oceans tuna are fished for in. Therefore, these questions drew me in more to the chapter and gave me something to look forward to.. the answers!

My Question: Why do we call them tuna but then they are Albacore? Is tuna just the name for the canned fish? Can tuna be made from multiple spieces? I’m confused.

Suprisingly in the next section this question was addressed. “Tuna” is a term for a family of similar fish. All tuna have a similar body shape. Widest in the middle and smooth. I feel better now that I know how it is defined.

My Question: What else is caught? If there is overfishing then other species have to be accidently being caught.

Futher in the chapter this question was addressed. Species unintentionally caught are refered to as bycatch. The official definition given : Non-targeted organisms accidentally caught by commercial fishing operations, including many fish species, but also a large number of birds, marine mammals, and sea turtles.

They also discussed longliners.. which is a fishing line with hundreds to thousands of hooks. This process usualyly has a huge rate of bycatch. The image on page 212 helped me to better understand the bycatch especially with the dolphins. Once the images came out there was significant consumer backlash about these tuna products.

Positives: Dolphin deaths are down.

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