How Many Tuna Are Killed Each Year?

The Pacific, Atlantic, and Southern bluefin tuna are the three principal species found worldwide. Due to overfishing, all three are in serious trouble. The western subset of Atlantic bluefin tuna is the main subject of the new NOAA regulation.

There are two separate groups of Atlantic bluefin tuna, one of which spawns in the Gulf of Mexico every spring and the other of which spawns in the Mediterranean Sea near Spain. These fish can travel thousands of kilometers across the ocean.

The population of western Atlantic bluefin has decreased by 64% overall since 1970. The overfishing of adults off the coast of North America, which is a trend fueled in part by the huge demand for sashimi, is to blame for a large portion of that.

However, the Gulf of Mexico, where the fish migrate to spawn each spring, also has another persistent issue. Fishermen are not allowed to go after bluefin tuna in these essential spawning sites as of 1982. Even yet, a lot of fishing boats use longlines to pursue swordfish and yellowfin, and in the process, they unintentionally kill a lot of bluefin tuna.

Longlines frequently spend up to 18 hours in the water, can span a distance of 40 kilometers, and contain hundreds of hooks. Due of their size, they frequently mistakenly trap sharks, turtles, and bluefin tuna.

With a number of laws on hooks and bait, US regulators have attempted to reduce the harm caused by longlines throughout the years. All of it didn’t appear to work. One-fourth of the US’s entire bluefin catch was accidentally caught and killed by longline fisherman in the Gulf in 2012, amounting to an estimated 239.5 metric tons of Atlantic bluefin tuna. (Since the fisherman is only allowed to bring in so much bluefin, most of the fish is just thrown overboard, which is a tremendous waste.)

As a result, NOAA is now taking an even more dramatic action, limiting the use of surface longlines in the area of the Gulf of Mexico and Cape Hatteras during the spawning season in April and May. In order to reduce unintentional catches, fishermen will need to employ alternative equipment (such as green sticks and buoy gear) that is often monitored more frequently. Additionally, NOAA will restrict the number of bluefin tuna that boats are permitted to accidentally catch:

For some time, environmentalists have been calling for actions along similar lines. Lee Crockett of the Pew Charitable Trusts outlined the proposal in a blog post from January. (Pew had been advocating for even stricter regulations, such as banning longlines in March or over a greater area.)

However, NOAA also made an effort to reach an agreement with fishing organizations in order to avoid completely ending the fishing for swordfish and yellowfin tuna. This document contains the 750-page final addendum.

Four Arguments Against Tuna Eating

The trapping and killing of animals for the tuna industry is not only horrible for the environment and for human health, but it is also hell for the animals.

The trapping and killing of animals for the tuna industry is not only horrible for the environment and for human health, but it is also hell for the animals. The tuna industry is cruel to animals in four different ways.

FISH CAN FEEL PAIN: Science has repeatedly shown that fish are capable of feeling fear and pain, and they can suffer just like other animals. Despite this, the Humane Slaughter Act does not provide protection for fish in the US. This implies that people are executed in a number of agonizing methods, regardless of the pain they experience prior to passing away.

Fishers usually club or stab tuna with harpoons once they are out of the water in an effort to kill them. LONG AND PAINFUL DEATHS The tuna frequently needs to be struck several times before it succumbs. Their final moments on earth are characterized by unfathomable dread, fear, and suffering.

OTHER ANIMALS SUFFER: There are a number different ways to catch tuna, and a lot of them end up mistakenly catching other fish or aquatic creatures, such sharks, dolphins, and turtles. These additional creatures, referred to as “bycatch” in the trade, are either snagged as they eat tuna bait when longline fishing or are caught in nets alongside the tuna. Bycatch causes hundreds of thousands of non-target animals to perish needlessly each year.

Foie Gras is a “delicacy” that causes animals such agony that it is forbidden to produce it in a number of nations. Help us put an end to the terrible force-feeding of birds by taking action!


In Carloforte, southwest of San Pietro island in Sardinia, hundreds of bluefin tunas are caught in traps called “tonnaras” every year between late May and early June as they migrate to certain breeding sites. The tunas are caught in the “tonnaras” and killed there using a sophisticated network of nets. The Carloforte tuna slaughter, as it is known, causes thousands of people great suffering and death.

Mobile traps are the primary method used to capture tunas in the Mediterranean Sea, however conventional fixed traps are also employed in Carloforte’s tuna slaughter.

The tunas are compelled to swim through a network of fixed nets that lead into a number of enclosed spaces when they travel throughout the breeding season. Once they have traveled through these net corridors, they arrive at the “death zone,” where the animals are gathered and killed. This is done to the shouts of “Kill!” from the “Rais” (a word that has Arabic origins and refers to those responsible for the management of the killing). As the tuna are pulled upward by moving nets in the “death zone,” the slaughter of them begins. The tunas are propelled to the surface of the sea. Due to a scarcity of room and water, the tunas collide furiously until they are pushed to the water’s surface, where they exhaust themselves. They inevitably suffer injuries during this process, and soon after, they are harpooned. It’s a horrifying scene when hundreds of panicked, dying people start flailing around in the water.

Report: Remote-water tuna fishing teams are at a high danger of harm or death.

In Washington, According to a recent NIOSH assessment, employees in fleets that fish for distant-water tuna are at a higher risk of dying and being hurt than employees in nearly all other types of fishing fleets.

The study, which looked at deaths and injuries that happened over a six-year period in the US Distant Water Tuna Fleet, was requested by the US Coast Guard.

DWTF is a fleet of commercial fishing boats that fishes in isolated areas of the Pacific Ocean, making it challenging to carry out search-and-rescue missions or medical evacuations. The research indicates that between 2006 and 2012, when the fleet went from 14 to 39 vessels, there were 14 worker fatalities and 20 worker injuries.

Two of the deaths happened after the ship flooded and capsized, while six of the deaths were due to falls overboard. Other causes were asphyxiation, worn or overloaded cables, head injuries after an 80-pound frozen tuna struck a worker in the head while off-loading, and asphyxiation.

From 2006 to 2012, there were 226 work-related deaths for every 100,000 full-time employees in the fleet. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are 3.2 workplace fatalities on average per year.

Every worker should wear a personal flotation device and close-toed shoes at all times when on deck, according to NIOSH’s safety standards.

Fantastic Tuna

World Tuna Day was observed on May 2, but if you believe this is a day to honor these amazing creatures, you’d be wrong. In order to “raise awareness about the importance of tuna and to promote more sustainable fishing practices,” the United Nations established World Tuna Day in 2016. The first World Tuna Day was observed on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. What’s the rationale behind World Tuna Day then? The UN claims that the decision was required because 33.3 percent of the tuna that is being “fished” is being caught at levels that are not sustainable biologically. Did you know that each year, more fish are murdered for their flesh than all other animals combined? And 8% of all marine creatures sold internationally are tuna species. The industry kills so many tuna that it doesn’t even count them; instead, it measures these wonderful fish by weight: 7 million metric tonnes annually. This makes up 20% of the total value of marine capture fisheries. Consumers buy around 1 billion pounds of tuna in the US every year. In terms of sales per square foot of shelf space in grocery shops, only coffee and sugar outperform canned tuna. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has warned that some species of tuna, such the bluefin, are now endangered because of overfishing in some parts of the world, which has driven some species of tuna to the brink of extinction. A 2013 stock study revealed that compared to unfished levels, bluefin populations in the Northern Pacific Ocean have decreased by more than 96% as a result of fishing.


The North Atlantic Ocean is currently the range of the highly migratory fish known as the Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus). The state of the fish within each population of bluefin tuna has seen a serious reduction, and this situation is yet unknown. The solution to the current state of the Atlantic bluefin tuna depends on increased biological understanding, notably of natural mortality and rates of mixing between the western (GOM) and eastern (Mediterranean) populations. For long-lived, highly migratory species like Atlantic bluefin tuna, we assessed the possibility for acoustic tags to produce empirical estimates of mortality and migration rates. Bluefin tuna tagged in the Gulf of St. Lawrence (GSL) foraging habitat (2009–2016) showed high detection rates post release, with 91% crossing receiver lines after one year and 61% discovered after two years at large, with detections up to almost 1700 days following deployment. The number of acoustic receptions per fish varied from 3 to 4759. The rate of instantaneous yearly natural mortality for Atlantic bluefin tuna that were electronically tagged in the GSL was calculated using a spatially-structured Bayesian mark recapture model. For this experiment, we provide a median estimate of 0.10 yr-1. Our findings show that acoustic tags can offer crucial estimates for life history parameters that are independent of fisheries and essential for enhancing stock assessment models.

How many animals are killed in the United States?

The average American who eats animals is thought to devour 7,000 animals in their lifetime, according to a 2015 estimate. 11 cows, 27 pigs, 2,400 chickens, 80 turkeys, 30 sheep, and 4,500 fish were represented by this. According to the Animal Kill Clock, almost 50 billion animals have been killed so far this year to satisfy American consumers’ desire for animal flesh. The kill clock predicts that almost 8 billion of such deaths are caused by chickens, 214 million by turkeys, 36 million by cattle, 124 million by pigs, 23 million by ducks, 7 million by sheep, over 4 billion by fish, and 43 billion by shellfish.

Are tuna deaths humane?

One of the few wild species that is consistently humanely butchered is bluefin tuna. Because it is a warm-blooded fish, its meat swiftly deteriorates under premortem stress, just like beef or pork.

How many tuna are landed annually?

According to the study, which primarily examined major industrial captures, we remove around 6 million metric tons of tuna from the oceans every year.