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Life On The Line - The amazing true story of the Southern Bluefin Tuna

Jun 01, 2021
The open ocean covers more than two-thirds of the Earth's surface, is deeper than Everest, is high, is the final frontier and is still largely unexplored, but it is one of the richest environments and home to the largest diversity of

life

on this planet from some of the largest creatures. To live for the most elegant and feared humanity has a long hi

story

of exploiting the ocean's bountiful harvest, we have come to depend on the oceans to always provide us and we assume it always will, but we are only beginning to understand our impact on the environment environment the growing world population with an insatiable appetite puts increasing pressure on our oceans this means uncertainty for some species and the endangered list for others at the top of that list is the

southern

bluefin

tuna

covered it As a delicacy in Japan a single fish can sell for thousands at auction and growing demand led us to fish it to the brim, however the tide has turned.
life on the line   the amazing true story of the southern bluefin tuna
This is the incredible

story

of how fishing really saved the

southern

bluefin

tuna

. I have been Al McGlashan since I was a kid, when my dad took me fishing for the first time, I was obsessed, but I was lucky enough to turn that passion into my career as a writer, photojournalist, sustainable fishing ambassador and most importantly, fisherwoman I have had incredible memories on the water. with my dad but one fish that always escaped us was the southern bluefin tuna but we never did it together I never saw a southern bluefin tuna it was like they completely disappeared from the three species of bluefin tuna the southern bluefin tuna or sbt has an exceptionally inspiring story and one in which Australia plays a key role.
life on the line   the amazing true story of the southern bluefin tuna

More Interesting Facts About,

life on the line the amazing true story of the southern bluefin tuna...

SBTs can weigh more than 200 kilos or 440 pounds and measure more than two meters or six and a half feet long. A slow-growing fish, it will take a decade before it reaches maturity but they can live up to 40 years and will eventually embark on one of the largest migrations on the planet after spawning in the waters between northwest Australia and Java. It traveled up the west coast of Australia before splitting up and making its way into The Great Australian then bites around Tasmania and continues towards the Pacific Ocean, while the rest heads south from the Indian Ocean to South Africa, even to the Atlantic Ocean before to finally return to Java, the only known spawning ground for the southern bluefin tuna.
life on the line   the amazing true story of the southern bluefin tuna
It's an

amazing

fish, it's actually endothermic, meaning it's partially warm-blooded like you and me, so unlike almost any other pelagic fish, it can regulate its core body temperature, making them better hunters. efficient capable of venturing into colder waters than any other tuna. As they travel from ocean to ocean on their epic journey across the Southern Hemisphere, their built-for-speed sprinters with a sleek profile can reach speeds exceeding 75 kilometers per hour or 47 miles per hour, making them a fighting fish. legendary highly appreciated among the gaming community. Look at that fishery now, when you think of tuna you may imagine cans stacked in supermarket shells, but these days sbt is too valuable to be found in cairns.
life on the line   the amazing true story of the southern bluefin tuna
Bluefin tuna is destined for Japan's lucrative sashimi market. Served raw, the dish is not only an iconic delicacy but an important part of its culture and identity. Japan consumes more than 80 percent of the world's bluefin tuna and a single tuna can sell for tens of thousands today. over a hundred million dollars in Australia alone and its growing popularity, especially in Japan has continued to put tremendous pressure on the fishery, so what is the southern bluefin tuna fishery? Well, for everyone involved, from fishermen to scientists to government authorities, bluefin tuna hasn't always been such a high-value species, in fact, it's been a long time since a government survey led by the csiro inspired the fishing and canning boom in South Australia in the 1960s and 1970s, which first brought canned tuna to Australian families of my father's generation, bluefin tuna was plentiful, never had taking into account the depletion of the stocks, but that was the case and they plummeted, the tuna populations fell to only five and a half percent of the original volume of the species, also known as biomass, in the early 90s the bluefin tuna of the South was on the road to extinction the damage was already done and no one realized it was a disaster zone, most of us were bankrupt, the banks were foreclosures, we were actually fishing hard on both ends, it was killing everything, basically , began to collapse in 1983, without respecting the fish, certain countries caught more than they should and the fish was decimated what was really happening with the southern bluefin tuna has had a control in history when I was a child I never saw one in Instead I had to live off the old man's tuna tails that would never run out, but you know what they did and they disappeared, but a decade ago they reappeared right here, off the coast of the shipwreck in Victoria, where these tuna came from, where the tuna had originally gone and what is the future of the southern bluefin tuna.
Southern bluefin tuna have had a truly turbulent history. and when it comes to finding fact from fiction it can sometimes be difficult, but if there is one person who knows it is glenn rush, glen rush is the former chief executive of the australian fisheries management authority and we go to the I went looking for Him because he is currently retired and spends more time with sheep than with tuna. Professor Glenn Rush spent much of his career in commercial fisheries management, not only was he instrumental in representing Australian fishing interests, but his intervention could have saved the southern bluefin tuna.
Since extinction, the early days of this fishery can be traced back to the development of the Japanese fleet in the early 1950s and as they expanded offshore, the southern bluefin tuna was one that was really sought after and the older fishermen. I think the Japanese did this fishery one year, they caught about 81,000 tonnes in the late '60s and early '70s and then in Australia when their catch increased. I think the peak of our catch was about 21,000 tons and there is not a single country. the culprit for this, it was actually the two of us, we were fishing hard in this fishery at both ends and it began to collapse naturally in 1983.
Tuna do not recognize borders and will travel through numerous international jurisdictions throughout their

life

, while the japanese were targeting mature fish spawning near java the australian fleet was intercepting juveniles on their southward migration burning the proverbial candle at both ends managing a fishery of this scale would require international cooperation entering the commission for the conservation of the southern bluefin tuna after 1983 the three major fishing countries, Australia, Japan and New Zealand, began to cooperate to manage the fish and gradually reduced the quota to a more sustainable level. We didn't know what was sustainable until we narrowed it down and ended up settling on 11,750 tonnes quite justifiably with what we knew about the catch platform patterns in the fishery at that stage that would lead to a recovery of the stock, so Not only could we fish it at that level but the population should recover, but the populations did not recover, in fact their numbers continued to fall and fall, it was not until I think it was mid 2004, Brian Jeffries and I were sitting at a meeting in canberra with ray halbourne, one of the leading american scientists who was appointed to the commission and ray asked us out of the blue how many fish are they stealing from this fishery and we thought the guy asked us our records are pretty good, no We think we are stealing nothing at all and I said: Well, why do you ask?
And he said, Well, tuna models don't work this way. He said someone is taking a lot of fish out of this fishery and we can't explain it. Despite all the data predicting recovery, sbt biomass remained. In free fall in 2004, with the industry on the brink of collapse and the species on the brink of commercial extinction, Glenn Rush led an Australian team determined to find out what was going wrong before it was too late. We sent Brian Jeffries and a guy named Jim. Fitzgerald went to Japan to start taking a look at the markets in the flow of fish markets and in fact what we started to do was look at all the sources through which bluefin tuna were sold through Japan, They looked at these numbers and started adding them up and James says there's something wrong here, this just doesn't add up.
He said there are fish here that just shouldn't be there. In reality, there are too many fish on the market in general and we buy these reports. to Australia and we were talking about them and still no one believed this was happening. All signs pointed to a Japanese overcapture, but they denied the numbers, so Glenn Rush made them an offer they couldn't refuse, not only was he willing. let a Japanese auditor review the figures, but Australia would foot the million dollar bill. The report confirmed that Japan had been overfishing with estimates of up to 178,000 tonnes in 20 years.
That was probably what started to sort out the numbers in the market because Once we started counting fish we started to discover that there was an overcatch and that the overcatch had been long term and actually went back to 1994 and we took the final reduction to rebuild the fishery and the Japanese industry basically couldn't take I mean, in a way you shouldn't justify the fact that they didn't do the right thing, but you can actually see all the reasons why that caused the tenacious detective work Glenn's and his quick action could have saved more than For the tuner, the bold move to keep the fishery open but regulated meant they could also continue to fund vital research and it wasn't just that the tuner, under threat, would lose this predator of the top of the food chain could have led to a large-scale ecological disaster.
The scaled-down solution to the crisis had become a global problem, so I've come to meet Glenn Sand from Wollongong-based wildlife trade monitoring organization Traffic. He runs his global program on fisheries management if you are a country that signs an international agreement and you say that you will fulfill the responsibility of managing within the quotas that you have been assigned, you must do it and if you don't, there needs to be something that is on its way, some people think it should close. fisheries immediately some people think we should keep them completely open and see what happens in the long term.
Our view is that somewhere there is a balance that we seek by working with all stakeholders and we look well, our main objective is to return to a biologically safe stock level as soon as possible, but it is necessary to reflect everyone's interests in terms of how can everyone have a fair share while also reflecting that no one will have any share if it simply remains harvested the once thriving industry was in serious trouble canneries were closing and southern bluefin tuna stocks had been depleted to survive the Australian industry would have that innovate port lincoln south australia was home to the fishing boom of the 1960s and 1970s and as the seafood capital of australia this community was hit hard by the dwindling catch.
I have come to meet Brian Jeffries, who not only played a key role in the Japan investigation, but what he and this small town achieved was truly remarkable. I was actually only recruited when the quota was met. 70 Port Lincoln was cut off it was a disaster zone the banks were foreclosing on mortgages people were bankrupt we realized that the only way to avoid the banks was to develop something very innovative valuing and whatever tuna farming is now It was the concept we wrote the book about, but some of us never believed it could really work, no one had ever farmed wild bluefin tuna before.
This is an apex predator that must swim about the length of its body every three seconds to survive, but with the support of the Fisheries Research Development Corporation, the people of Port Lincoln devised a way to raise fish in the wild. The ingenious solution was to catch young tuna in the open sea and then tow them to shore and transfer them to specially designed pens where they will grow for about six months before going to market. No matter how innovative people are as a matter of survival, we used to say that nothing focuses the mind more than judicial administration, you know you have to get out of this.
These are proud people and somehow we have enough will in the system to really develop and move forward. I'm going ahead with this concept, but some of these people here, like some people in other areas of Australia, havea remarkable capacity for forestry engineering. It's 4.30am here in Port Lincoln and that's when they start, so what? What you're doing is loading up all the pellets to go feed the tuna at the farms, the logistics involved with just feeding the tuna en masse, you know you have tons and tons of bait that you also have to catch and then you have to take it out and feed to tuna and they do it every day because tuna eat I think it's a third of their body mass or something like that daily, that's a lot of sardines or sardines as they call them at the end of the day. day you're not just feeding the tuna you have to feed the tuna the right thing so it tastes good it's no different than a cow on a planet you know if they eat the right grass they taste better so you can't just feed them whatever old thing, you have to feed them high quality bait that gives them the best protein and makes them taste better, but it's a mission just to feed them, check it out, I'll show you how we used to do it and then you might as well try it, oh really, kinda , yes, with a shovel mat, give it a little movement, I see you spread it well, you should get a little spread that wasn't a film, try again, yes, that's better, better, you've done well, that's breakfast and they are going to make it again and again, everything is good.
Another classic example of the ingenuity of these guys is the rotary feeder developed here. At Port Lincoln, seawater is circulated through a high pressure pump, fed through rotating feeders, dispersing the sardines evenly in the pan, which took hours of hard and tiring work, now takes just a few minutes , I'll tell you there are a lot of hungry tuna there. The ingenious ranching system not only keeps the business profitable but reduces stress on the fish. They seem to be completely relaxed swimming, but raising fish would also have unexpected benefits for fishermen when the quota is set and we start raising them.
It's a lot easier because I tell my crew we start on the 16th as fishing and the tugs leave on January 6th so it gives the families Christmas, New Years at home and Easter, they're home so It's much better. than sleeping out there on Christmas and New Years, afraid that someone else might catch fish if you come home in 1996 we started ranching in Croatia and then the whole Mediterranean started and then Mexico joined and then there were a lot more fish to Japan, Port Lincoln, how we did it, we work together, so we're all innovative in the sense that what really amazes me is seeing your leasing tuner, how relaxed they are on the fence, you know they're a wild fish or they're like They were swimming, but now in a pen they seem totally relaxed, but seeing them from the surface is one thing, getting in and getting up close and personal is a completely new experience.
I always wanted to swim with a huge bluefin tuna, but In fact, getting in and seeing these huge fish up close takes it to a whole new level, perfectly stream

line

d, they swim effortlessly, that huge eye watches me intently, they are the perfect pelagic predator built to life in the southern ocean, oh man, that's

amazing

, those tuna. I've seen them swimming, they are totally relaxed all the time just walking around, probably a little worried about the camouflaged whales swimming with them. Incredible, we've come a long way since the days of the survey tuner thanks to effective management and reliable science.
There has been a growing sense of cooperation within the sbt fishery and a growing confidence that together we could save the southern bluefin tuna, which has led to many changes and to see it in action i have come to meet professional long

line

r shane ralph shaina, how are you? friend, good morning, welcome aboard, friend, come on in, bring it, take my bag, all my clothes, throw that place for you, let's go fishing, we're headed 60 nautical miles out to sea in search of tuna and don't expect to see land . The liner for at least a week is a long main line suspended by floats with hooks attached.
I have been in the industry for 33 years. It's come a long way since I started. Actually, we are not chasing quantity, it is more of a quality. industry, you know, the southern bluefin tuna, you know, the bigger fish, the 50 to 70 kilo fish is what we go after. Commercial fishing is often seen as blind plundering of the sea, but for fisheries like the SBT it is quite the opposite. The adoption of scientific methods has improved efficiency across the board. and has even reduced the amount of bycatch for the highly regulated Australian fishery. Some bycatch is caught, but we have an anathema-issued line cutter that we cut as close to the hook as possible so it doesn't get in the way. the fish just swims away and the hook rusts in the mouth with southern bluefin tuna, we bring a fish on board and then we clean it and put it in zero degree brine, so from the moment it comes out of the water The brine cools in a matter of seconds. minutes once caught, warm blooded bluefin tuna take about six hours to cool, so it is necessary to process the fish and put it on ice as soon as possible, otherwise the internal heat they generate will ruin the quality of the meat ; is the key: bleed the fish, kill it. instantly and put it on ice and that keeps it in the best quality.
Caring for the catch is not only more respectful but also ensures superior quality, which is why it has become so valuable. These tuna are processed in a matter of minutes and then directly onto ice. The slurry ready for air transport to Japan in 24 hours usually ends up in Japan, it's a big business and big brother is always watching. The sbt is highly regulated. We used to have observers watching and monitoring everything, but now we have four cameras in it. ship that watches us 24/7 while we work, we have a ship monitoring system that the government can see where the ship is 24/7.
When we catch the fish, it should be tagged that way the government can track the fish. Follow him every step of the way from the moment he was captured to the moment he arrives in Japan. Scientists and commercial fishermen have not always gotten along, but today they are working closely because they realize the importance of cooperation to ensure sustainable living. and profitable fishing, if there are no people catching fish, data cannot be collected, there is a lot of data that comes from our catch, you have to keep fishing them to know what the populations are doing, otherwise you wouldn't do it.
I have an idea that my journey of discovery of the southern bluefin tuna has taken me to Hobart and Tasmania because if there is something that I have learned and that is fundamental to caring for the species it is science, science has to be impeccable and csiro here in Hobart are doing innovative research that is proving essential to caring for these fish to learn more. I have come to meet csiro's senior research scientist, campbell davies, and senior research scientist, richard hillary, who has spent his entire life studying southern bluefin tuna, basically, if he wants to. I will be working on research related to tuna and specifically pelagics.
In my opinion, this has been the best place in the world and equally bluefin are probably the most captivating and interesting of all the species in terms of their migration. His life story is definitely the most interesting. Species to work on Hillary's work focuses on estimating the spt population through a closely related tag recapture model. If you randomly show two pointers on the street, the chances of them being related are much higher if you are in a small town and much smaller if you are in a big city like Sydney, essentially meaning that you are much less likely to be related if you come from a larger population and what it really does is take that idea and expand it to say well, how do we actually apply that in the real world, where things change, where animals reproduce better when they grow and move, But using that same simple idea, an exciting new development uses the tuner's unique genetic fingerprint to tag and then identify recaptured fish.
This gene tagging provides more reliable data than conventional tagging and release programs, so when we first looked at this in 2008 2009, the logistics of handling DNA processing were such that it was too expensive to be comparable to saying that Conventional labeling could be the majority of genetic studies. We used 100,200,300 fish samples, but handling tens of thousands of samples is quite new, so now we have robots that are used in medicine and cancer research and that kind of thing that is used to increase the speed of processing the DNA extractions. but also make sure that the quality control of the data itself is high enough when you are managing a program for a large international fishery.
These new methods will help monitor the effectiveness of the fishery reconstruction plant and will be included in the development of a new management procedure. The management procedure is a slightly different way of managing a stock, so it was previously done through a stock assessment. the population, people sitting in a room and saying: "We believe this is a sustainable catch, we are going to continue with that, what management." What the procedure does is eliminate the discussion side of things, it says we have this data that goes into this model and comes out this quarter and is rigorously tested using many mathematical models, so it eliminates the decision making process. of human decisions really or should be.
We say that the argument process is really based in the barracks and that is what the SPT has been doing since 2011. Quality in Australian scientific research, particularly in the fishery, and we are quite surprised, it is almost astonishing what has happened and which you attend at many international conferences and in Australia. Close relative technology now and now genetic tagging and stuff like that has just been copied all over the world, but also a nice side effect for me is that the fish themselves actually respect scientists more and you know we're all working together. on the same page now the story of the southern bluefin tuna is as complex as it is unique proper management of the fishery has increased the numbers of southern bluefin tuna and weakened the fishermen who catch big fish, that is why the The recreational sector has such an important role to play in this story and why I came to meet Brett Cleary from the Australian Sport Fishing Association.
Australians love to fish and the role of people like me and all the associations is to protect the fishing grounds and protect the fish when there was a significant decline in the sbt fishery there was an administration that came in ccsbt and started managing the fishery, but at that stage it declined so much that there was very little recreational catch, so when they were deciding on resource sharing agreements, the recreational fishing sector was simply left out with the recovery and increase in recreational fishing. There is a possibility that recreational fishers will have an impact on the population.
It is very important that recreational fishermen be very good stewards of the fishery. We can't have people who aren't. respecting the fish and not respecting the resources, the New South Wales game fish tagging program began in 1973 with almost half a million fish tagged, it is the largest in the world and with over 25,000 sbt tags to date. At the moment, Australian fishermen are

true

tuna champions once caught. Details such as date, location and length are recorded on the cards, as long as the corresponding tag is placed directly under the second dorsal fin before the fish is released to fight another day, adding to the data collected. by the commercial sector.
Recreational fishermen also contribute to scientific research. research, of course, for scientists, labeling is much more high tech, so I came to meet dr. Sean Tracy at the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies in Imas Tasmania. We've seen a real change in the mindset of recreational fishing 20 years ago, it was very much about catching the fish and bringing it home, not thinking much about the impacts of recreational fishing and at that time with the southern bluefin tuna fishery , that may have been fine because it was just a fairly small niche fishery, but over the last 20 years As we've seen the population recover, we're seeing the recreational sector catch a lot more bluefin tuna, so working with them in The satellite tagging project has been incredible and allowed us to tag 60 individual fish.
I had the opportunity to help Sean capture and satellite tag Southern bluefin tuna. Each sat tag costs an average of six thousand dollars so this is serious scientific data collected from the tax set being analyzed at the Imass headquarters here at the University of Tasmania so this is the mapping showing where.all the sat tags are obviously all together, aren't they? So these are the 60 fish that we have tagged with the recreational sector, we are tagging in different areas than what had been done with the commercial fishery, so by working with them and putting the tags on them, we are actually looking at a whole new avenue towards where these fish actually move and migrate.
We're at a point now where we're trying to really engage with the community, both the recreational sector and the commercial sector. To gain some of this information and also learn from each other, the commercial fishery goes to great lengths to ensure that the fish they handle are in optimal condition. Traders have known this for years that if they treat the fish well, we are going to get a high quality product and now we can learn from the commercial sector in the recreational sector and apply the same methods, yes, so it is not about taking home a lot of fish, but about taking home one fish, two fish and making them perfect, and you know, really taking care of them because then you get that beautiful meat, so one of the most important things that we're seeing is the real will within the recreational sector of be champions of this species, so they are really getting involved in improving their management.
The researchers want to know more, they want to know what they can do better to care for the species and ultimately reduce waste, which is something really important in this iconic species. I think one of the areas we can improve is getting that spirit. For the community at large, non-club members educate those people on release methods and also how to care for the fish if you choose to keep them. Recreational fishing and native fishing are now recognized in the fisheries management act, but along with that comes a responsibility, we must be part of rebuilding the population, we must actively participate to ensure that sbt continues to recover and that there are more fish in the future.
Tasmania is home to world-leading research on southern bluefin tuna. In fact, I've been coming here to fish for tuna since their numbers returned a decade ago and I can't wait to get out on the water. Good luck, how are you, friend? Good to see you, mate, bluefin tuna. It's time to take me out and catch me one, let's do it. Let's see what it's all about, of course. Not everyone has access to their own boat, which is why charter boats play an important role in the recreational fishing community. It's amazing here in Tassie how close to shore you fish when chasing bluefin tuna and we're not just talking about a small one.
Talking fish weighing up to 150 kilos and are very close to the rocks. If you went to New South Wales you'd be fishing 30 to 40 miles from the coast, but here it seems like the closer the better, I won't lie. It's pretty cold out on the water, but when you hear that real scream there's nothing like it. We will show you a new dance move. Now it's called tuna. Mix the melody with everyone. I had it up there before I tried to catch it. As fast as I can, come on, surely this time now, surely, yes, I've spent the night, come on, yes, good fish too, it's a pretty fish, isn't it?
You've got the best part, we'll do our part and I'll let it go, there you go, I'll let it, I'll let it go, oh, a rocket, huh, how good is the backdrop, though that's what I feel there, alone I look at that guy and I get distracted, the fishing went non-stop, we couldn't continue. a lure in the water for over a minute it's amazing how heavy these fish are, like they're not even that big, but the weight on a fish this size and you know, when you take home a fish of this size how we're going to do it take one home it's going to feed everyone on this boat exactly and we can let this guy go so he can grow into a barrel that's it that's what we want here we go it's well, my friend, they are absolutely collected.
You have to take care of it and as a charter skipper, that's probably the most important thing, isn't it? The guys take home their four fish, but if you process the fish the size of that, yes, it's a very big fish, well, there's 10 kilos of meat. on that fish, yeah, and you have to look after it, so you have to bleed it, freeze it and I don't know if you need to freeze it in Tasmania, so how much has it changed here in Eagle? hawk now, it has really changed. I've been doing this 20 years before. You know, I was noticing something strange here and there that 12 or 14 years ago started getting better and better and better and you know, a couple of years ago.
It's been a while since I threw more than a thousand in one season. I never thought I'd get a thousand in one season. It was incredible. Have you seen that the attitude of the fishermen has changed or I guess it has almost matured? Yes, it certainly has a lot of people. I love releasing fish now many people don't get any fish. They are more than happy to release everything. I love catching them. I love the fight. Let them go catch it again another day. It has really changed in the early days. It was killing everything, basically, yeah, and now, you know, you take the odd one for food, but it releases the majority.
You've been doing it for 20 years and now you're lucky to have your kids follow in your footsteps. I could be following you for a while. rarely, but he's doing it too, yeah, and fishing side by side, yeah, it's great to have the family out there and for me, like you think back 20 years and you know someone's going to go, oh, your children will do it side by side. by your side you will be gone, I don't think that's going to happen and I think it's amazing that these bluefin tuna have come back and now it's not just you, now it's the whole family, the whole city is evolving from that and they are getting better and better, well the town prospers because of it, you know, at this time of year there are no tourists, but we have all the fishermen here staying in the pub and buying food in the shop and with the service station buying fuel, so it all contributes to the economy of the area, it's fantastic, but how do you see the future now?
Well, I see that the numbers are getting better and better for bluefin tuna. You know, they're pretty well run now and it seems to be increasing year after year. You know, as we say, we're getting these mixed sizes now, the big jumbo tuna, we seem to get a lot of them every year. You know, the other day I added up my diary. I was joking to find out how many barrels or jumbos I would have. stuck in my time and, uh, yeah, I'm sitting at 91 right now, so I'm really hoping to get to 100 this year, if not this year, certainly next year and you know, the best part is you've got two more kids in there , so there will be two. more boats running to the right we will go there if these blue things continue and my little daughter is very excited too.
It's okay, you're old. She says: when can I become clingy? It is absolutely amazing how far these bluefin tuna travel. I just received news from Sydney. When I dived in South Australia, they were 30 kilo fish. Those here have grown. Now they weigh 70, 80, 90, more than 100 kilos, some of them and if there is something I would love to do, it is diving. with wild bluefin tuna, that's a dream, what's really interesting is that the age class of the fish from New South Wales is completely different from the tuna from Victoria and South Australia. They seem to be bypassing the southern states on their trip and we're still not sure where.
In fact, they take the opportunity to jump with them in the wild, which gives me a whole new appreciation for this amazing species. It's a great reminder of why it's so important to educate everyone to respect this valuable resource. The history of the southern bluefin tuna and its remarkable recovery. It is an inspiring story. I think bluefin tuna in particular is a good story and I think we are starting to see results on the ground now that you know both the commercial and recreational industries are seeing benefits not only our industry but also Japan, Taiwan and others. who are catching these fish, I see it as very positive, I think there are probably a number of things that interconnect that will hopefully make this a positive story and continue in the sense that we now have a solid measure of how to estimate how many There are adults and there is an evidence based way to set the quarters and I think when you have those two things in place it should be a positive story if we look after not just us Australians but the entire sbt community around the world. it's going to get better and better very quickly ah, this fish is a gift and it's a gift from nature, it's a gift of the hard work of past generations or whatever, it's a magnificent fish, we will have global demand, not just in Japan.
It's now expanding into China and Korea, Australia has an international duty of care here, it's not just about looking after the interests of Port Lincoln or the interests of the community, it's really an international duty of care and that's what it is. to consider all the time I've been talking. to everyone involved, the scientists in the laboratory, the commercial fishermen, the environmentalists and the recreational fishermen. I have seen everyone in the sbt community play their unique and equally important role, but we are not out of the woods yet, we need to focus on what we all bring.
Responsibility in terms of thinking right, from managers to commercial fishermen, recreational fishermen, charter boat operators, consumers, everyone has to take responsibility. The devastation that began in the '60s seemed almost irreparable, especially when stocks bottomed at just five and a half percent. But thanks to cooperation between the SBT community, 2017 figures show the population has increased to 13 and counting. I feel much more confident that we are getting there in terms of having built this puzzle of what we need with the administration. what we need to have in terms of international agreement what we need to have in terms of stakeholders within Australia who are involved in how we move forward, but this is not the time to rest on our laurels, it will just take one of those pieces of the puzzle to fall and We may be in the same dangerous position we were in 10 or 20 years ago, so we need to continue to manage it along with this shared responsibility around the ultimate goal, which is a sustainable legal fishery, I guess that's the only thing that can be said.
The blooping stuck with me. tuna was that you have to save the fishery to save the fish and it did us no good to close our fishery and allow other partners to fish this fishery on the high seas and we have limited our participation in and if you take your stick and go home and you no longer want to participate in the commission, then you are actually getting out of the fishery, so you have to stay committed and participate, the industry will not go. but it will be saved if a responsible way of managing the fishery is devised and at the same time the industry is saved.
Of course, that industry is part of the community that continues to fund research and collect data that is so critical to the survival of the species. In a very real sense, fishing has saved the southern bluefin tuna; In fact, this is becoming one of the biggest success stories in the open ocean and you know, it couldn't come at a better time, the southern bluefin tuna story is unfolding. a completely new precedent in the way we manage global fisheries, but this journey is far from complete and if there is one thing we can all learn it is that we are all part of the solution we all need to be tuna champions and we all need to Keep this momentum going guys, it's time to go fishing.
I may have never had the opportunity to catch a southern bluefin tuna with my dad and you know what it certainly wasn't for lack of trying, but I'm excited that I can. do it with my children with the next generation not only for tomorrow but for the future so let's go fishing, let's go you

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