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Double jeopardy: Tuna and billfish
Date:7/24/2011

y high prices.

Global fish populations are under pressure from overfishing, pollution, habitat degradation, and disease. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that 25 percent of the world's commercially important marine fish stocks were overfished or depleted.

Scombrids and billfishes are found throughout the world's oceans, primarily in tropical and temperate coastal and marine regions, and vary greatly in size and lifespan. The largest billfish, the Blue Marlin, and largest scombrid species, the Atlantic Bluefin, can grow to more than four meters (31 feet) long. In contrast, the smallest scombrid species, the Indian Mackerel, only grows to a maximum of 31 centimeters (~ 1 foot).

The health of ocean fisheries is assessed in several different ways. The IUCN review seeks to identify species threatened by extinction where as fisheries management evaluations focus on a population's sustainability in the face of exploitation.

"Our study reaches similar conclusions to those from the FAO," said Die. "Approximately one quarter of the worldwide fish stocks and species of "scombrids" are in an undesirable state of sustainable exploitation or conservation."


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Contact: Barbra Gonzalez
barbgo@rsmas.miami.edu
305-421-4704
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science
Source:Eurekalert  

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