World Tuna Day – May 2, 2023

World Tuna Day is observed on May 2 throughout the coastal zone of the planet. This date was an achievement of fishing communities, scientists, and environmentalists who came together to protect tuna schools around the world and help create a sustainable fishing model. Why is there a World Tuna Day? Well, because tuna is one of the most vigorous and important fish in the seas. It is certainly among the most fascinating when it comes to size, strength, agility, and speed. In addition, it is one of the most important animals for the human economy and nutrition. Tuna species represent 20% of the value of all marine fisheries and more than 8% of all seafood traded globally.

History of World Tuna Day

Tunas are magnificent wild animals and have been known to mankind for thousands of years. One of the oldest records of the species was made by Aristotle in his work on the classification of animals. These fish can reach up to eight feet in length and weigh over 500 pounds, but don’t think we’re talking about a slow animal. This fish’s powerful body allows it to reach a speed of up to 43 miles per hour!

Size, strength, and speed are important characteristics of tuna as they are constantly migrating, crossing oceans, and going from one continent to another. That’s why they are in almost every ocean in the world. Tuna can live in several seas on the planet as it is an endothermic fish. It can increase its body temperature when facing the icy waters on its migration routes. This evolutionary adaptation is what gives tuna meat its characteristic reddish-pink color and powerful nutritional properties. A large, tasty, and nutritious fish that can be found almost all over the world, it is no accident that tuna has become so important in the diet of millions of people.

It is one of the major animals exploited by the fishing industry. Currently, at least 96 countries exploit schools of tuna in the oceans. Throughout history, however, tuna fishing was limited for technical reasons. It was with the advent of engines that fishing boats managed to increase the area of ​​fishing nets they cast over the seas. This has led to an exponential growth in the capture of these fish. With the growth of the world population, tuna fishing has become more intense, increasing the risk of predatory overexploitation of these animals. Overfishing not only threatens tuna but also other marine animals. The indiscriminate use of fishing nets also kills turtles, dolphins, and swordfish. In 2016, the United Nations General Assembly established May 2 as World Tuna Day. The aim was to raise awareness of a sustainable tuna fishing model.

World Tuna Day timeline

350 B.C.
Aristotle Writes About the Great Blue Tuna

In his books on a zoological investigation, Aristotle identifies dozens of fish, including the majestic bluefin tuna.

19th Century
Technical Innovations and Fishing

Following the reduction of fish stocks due to overfishing, the fishing industry's need to explore new seas is effectively achieved with the advent of motorboats.

20th Century
Overfishing and the Decrease in Tuna Fishing

Due to the strong growth in demand for canned tuna, and the worldwide trend of sushi consumption, the tuna population is suffering from overfishing.

21st Century
Fishermen and Environmentalists Unite

Artisanal fishermen organizations, N.G.O.s, scientists, and environmentalists unite to press for more sustainable fishing practices and greater inspection of industrial fishing.

2016
U.N.G.A. Creates the World Tuna Day

The United Nations General Assembly (U.N.G.A.) votes to officially observe World Tuna Day.

World Tuna Day FAQs

Who eats the most tuna?

The European Union, the United States, and Japan are the largest consumers of canned tuna, using about 51%, 31%, and 6%, respectively, of the world’s canned tuna products.

Which country is tuna from?

Tunas are spread across different oceans. However, most of the tuna consumed in the world comes from Thailand.

Why is tuna so important?

Tuna is one of the main sources of food for marine life and is very important for human nutrition and the economy. In addition, it is one of the main predators in the marine food chain and helps maintain balance in the ocean environment.

How to Observe World Tuna Day

  1. Value environmentally-responsible brands

    Fishing with giant nets kills countless animals besides tuna. With increasing social pressure in recent years, some brands have developed sustainable fishing methods that do not threaten dolphins, turtles, and other animals. Always choose brands with a seal of good environmental practices.

  2. Defend artisanal fishing communities

    Traditional artisanal fishing communities are very important for the maintenance of marine life. Good fishing management is essential to preserve the quantity and quality of seafood.

  3. Try a diet with less animal consumption

    Overfishing is a result of a growing demand for seafood. This demand is accelerated by a culture based on the high consumption of food of animal origin. A more balanced diet with more plant sources is essential for environmental balance.

5 Facts About Tuna That Will Blow Your Mind

  1. Tunas are big

    1,496 pounds was the weight of the largest tuna ever caught, an Atlantic bluefin tuna, about as heavy as a horse!

  2. They are very valuable

    The most expensive tuna ever sold cost $3.1 million.

  3. A little bit of everything

    The omnivorous fish’s varied diet includes other fish, eels, and squid, but also, plankton and marine vegetables.

  4. There are eight types of tuna

    They are Albacore tuna, Southern bluefin tuna, Bigeye tuna, Pacific bluefin tuna, Atlantic bluefin tuna, Blackfin tuna, Longtail tuna, and Yellowfish tuna.

  5. They travel with dolphins

    Dolphins are famous shark fighters which is why some scientists believe schools of tuna associate with dolphins, to protect themselves from sharks.

Why World Tuna Day is Important

  1. Sheds light on unsustainable practices

    Industrial fishing is extremely aggressive. World Tuna Day helps combat overfishing and unsustainable fishing methods.

  2. Helps protect marine life

    World Tuna Day was created to prevent the extinction of tuna and other marine animals. Fishing nets threaten dolphins, turtles, and dozens of other animals that swim together with schools of tuna.

  3. Raises food safety awareness

    Tuna is the basis of the diet of millions of people in the world. Without maintenance practices, this important food source can drop dramatically, leading to serious supply problems and food insecurity.

World Tuna Day dates

YearDateDay
2022May 2Monday
2023May 2Tuesday
2024May 2Thursday
2025May 2Friday
2026May 2Saturday

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