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Blue Fin Tuna Overfishing Buddhist Interconnectedness

2131 words - 9 pages

One value in Buddhist teaching is interconnectedness. It discards the notion that people hierarchically are above all other beings. People tend to forget that the world is interconnected and that once we exploit our resources they are gone. As humans control the earth and do with as they please they can an in many cases unintentionally destroy the earth and its natural resources. One environmental issue caused by human impact is the overfishing of the Bluefin Tuna to the point where it has been placed on the critically endangered species list. Bluefin Tuna are being overfished at an alarming rate this human greed from a Buddhist perspective will cause the depletion and over all extinction if ...view middle of the document...

These tuna have two primary spawning grounds. One place exists in the western Mediterranean Sea particularly near the Balearic Islands. Another important spawning site is in the Gulf of Mexico. Satellite images confirm the popular belief that even though the Bluefin resides in deep waters of the Atlantic during mating season they return to one of there two areas to spawn. These tuna group together in a large concentration during mating this makes them more vulnerable to commercial fisherman, especially in the Mediterranean where the groups of tuna can be spotted from air in the translucent waters. ("Northern Bluefin Tuna")
Each summer when the Bluefin Tuna migrate into warmer waters such as the Mediterranean to breed and spawn an ancient tradition called Tonnara is being practiced on the western coast of Sicily. Tonnara is a long fence like net that forces the migrating and sometimes breeding tuna to become trapped in the series of netted chambers. The nets are pulled out and the fish are slaughtered. At one time there were over 200 locations of Tonnara fisheries but now there is barely enough to support two Tonnara. The nets disrupt breeding which makes it hard for Bluefin to reproduce decreasing their numbers they are also captured in these nets quickening there depletion. (PBS.org)
Bluefin Tuna is a highly prized food fish Because of this it is a highly sought out fish by fisherman the amount of money a fisherman can make off of one Bluefin is $100,000 at Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, Japan. Bluefin Tuna is one of the most highly prized fish in Japan where its sashimi is a particular delicacy. The Bluefin industry in Japan is about a 7.2 billion dollar industry. Japanese on average consume more than 80 percent of all Bluefin captured. The Bluefin cannot reproduce at a fast enough rates to compensate the demand of its flesh. This greed is causing the fish to go extinct. ("Northern Bluefin Tuna")
Despite repeated warning overfishing continues. In 2007, resources from the international commission for the conversation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) recommended a global quota of 15,000 tones of Bluefin to be fished. However despite this ICCAT chose to allow 22,000 tones to be fished. In 2009, the ICCAT association confirmed that the tuna stocks are declining by 72 percent in east Atlantic and by 82 percent in the western Atlantic. In October 2009 the Bluefin Tuna was recommended to be placed on the CITES (convention on international trade in endangered species) Appendix I list and to have an international trade ban. The proposal for an international ban was not received well by Japan and Korea whose economy relies on the tuna where it is a multi billion-dollar industry. ("Northern Bluefin Tuna"),(Jolly, and Broader )
The convention on international trade in endangered species failed to protect the Bluefin. In March 2010 the United Nations rejected the US backed efforts to impose the ban. CITES delegates voted don the proposal to protect Bluefin...

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