Why we should leave Giant Bluefin Tuna in the water

I’m guessing a lot of you are going to disagree with this.

After all, this is a site about catching fish, and the Bluefin Tuna may very well be the ultimate fish and an angler’s dream — not to mention the potential payout on one of these monsters.

No fish should be worth $1 million.

There’s no doubt it’s exciting as hell to pull a fish like this up. It must be amazing. No argument there.

Maybe you’ve planned your whole life to catch one of these apex predators, spent a ton of time honing your skill and strategy, and spent a personal fortune just getting to the right spot.

I’m asking you to leave it alone.

$3.7 million bluefin
This dude paid $3.7 million for a fish. That’s just stupid. Taken from Reuters.

Not to sound all morbid or anything because fishing is supposed to be fun, but there are NOT plenty of fish in the sea. I respect your decision to catch your own wild food, and believe it is probably (though not always) a responsible and sustainable thing to do.

That said, I sometimes regret the years I spent as a deckhand on a sportfishing charter. Growing up in Montana, I always assumed fishing was something done mostly for food, sometimes for recreation, and usually for some sort of connection to the outdoors.

I love that. What I didn’t love is the people who spent 10 hours salmon fishing, crush it, then have no desire to actually eat the fish once dead. Huh? In other words, this was my first exposure to fishing for the sake of fishing.

However, compare this to nearly every style of commercial fishing enterprise (trawling, seiners, longline), and a single hook and line makes way more sense.

Compare it further to any factory style food production, and at least the private angler can be proud of his contribution of time, effort, and skill toward catching a healthy meal.

Done right, this may actually be the ideal setup and a representative model of replacement fishing giving the current mass raping of the oceans committed by a horde of subsidized rapists.

If you’re a commercial fisherman, you should quit.

I don’t have any respect for your profession anymore, and you should learn something new. Nobody is owed a profession regardless of any immoral market that pays no attention to a single externality.

If you are one of these people paying north of $200 per pound of bluefin, you should stop. I say this without judgment because maybe you don’t know it’s a bad idea. I’ve made plenty of mistakes unwittingly.

That said, there’s no way a person can dedicate his life to catching a fish without understanding the consequences.

So, I’ll say again. Stop taking bluefin tuna. There are other worthy targets that aren’t nearly as stupid.

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