If fish were like cars, tuna would be the Ferraris of the ocean—sleek, powerful, and made for speed. Their torpedo-shaped bodies streamline their movement through water, and their special swimming muscles enable them to cruise the ocean highways with great efficiency.
Tuna are remarkable and impressive wild animals. The Atlantic bluefin can reach ten feet in length and weigh as much as 2000 pounds (more than a horse). Their specialized body shape, fins and scales enable some species of tuna to swim as fast as 43 miles per hour.
Tuna swim incredible distances as they migrate. Some tuna are born in the Gulf of Mexico, and travel across the entire Atlantic Ocean to feed off coast of Europe, and then swim all the way back to the Gulf to breed.
These extraordinary marine animals are also integral to the diet of millions of people and are one of the most commercially valuable fish. The majority of the market is made up of four species: skipjack alone account for more than half of the global catch of tuna, followed by yellowfin, bigeye, and albacore. The critically endangered bluefin tuna only makes up 1% of the global catch. As the methods of catching tuna have advanced over the years, the conservation and management of tuna has not evolved as quickly. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, most tuna stocks are fully exploited (meaning there is no room for fishery expansion) and some are already overexploited (there is a risk of stock collapse). According to the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation, 65% of tuna stocks are at a healthy level of abundance, but 13% are considered overfished.