Tuna research project: Essential data

File photo

Man’s impact on the world around us is so profound that intervention after intervention is needed to support challenged if not endangered populations of one species or another. 

In an Irish context, the freshwater pearl mussel is endangered because of pollution.

Curlews, red squirrels, salmon and many more animals and as many insects as you could shake a chemical spray can at fall into that category. 

However, without an informed understanding of a species needs intervention is just so much wishful thinking.

To that end, a range of agencies has come together to try to gather data on bluefin tuna, one of the most magnificent animals on our planet. 

They will authorise 15 angling vessels to catch and tag tuna off our coast, a programme made possible by a change in international regulations.

This is a double-edged sword as a 278kg bluefin tuna, an endangered species, sold for €2.83m in Tokyo in January. 

It must be hoped that this research is to serve conservation ends and not to investigate the possibility of establishing a commercial fishery. 

Sadly, such cynicism may be justified.

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