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In 2011, the Pacific Island countries – who together represent one of the main sources for the world’s tuna – declared 2 May to be World Tuna Day. It is a day to not only celebrate such an amazing fish, but to also raise awareness about their conservation.

Many people may not know that there are 8 recognised species of ‘true’ tuna (Atlantic bluefin, Pacific bluefin, southern bluefin, bigeye, yellowfin, albacore, longtail & blacktail) and a further 8 species in the extended family that are normally called ‘tuna’. Skipjack, for example, which is the most commonly-eaten tuna, is not actually a proper tuna in biological terms – it’s more of a distant cousin.

World Tuna Day recognizes the critical role all of these fish play in marine ecosystems. They support some of the world’s largest and most valuable fisheries, as well as many people who rely on them for their livelihoods (which industrial fishing has also put at risk). But sadly these majestic ocean wanderers are today being over-consumed and over-exploited by unsustainable (industrial) fishing methods. No longer seen as a living species integral to the overall well-being of marine ecosystems, tuna are treated today solely as a global (trading) commodity.

To counter this serious trend, here are a few ways you can help tuna on World Tuna Day:

1) Support Greenpeace’s oceans campaign which aims to tackle overfishing, destructive fishing and climate change, as well as trying to build support for ocean sanctuaries, and transform tuna markets.

2) Take a break from eating tuna for a while or at least eat ethical tuna. If you do eat fish, only choose responsibly-caught tuna, which means more than just looking for the ‘dolphin friendly’ logo! See the 2014 Tuna League Table for a list of the most and least ethical tinned tuna brands. Also see our ethical guide to fish for a general overview of the problems facing the fishing industry and how to support more sustainable fishing practices.

3) Share this on social media and help raise awareness about how awesome tuna are and how grave of a threat over-exploitation has become.

Courtesy of Greenpeace: http://greenpeace.org.uk/blog/oceans/tuna-are-life-not-just-lunch-20140424

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