The controversial bluefin tuna is nearing extinction, The Huffington Post is reporting.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, illegal fishing and by-catch are the two main causes for the extreme decline. By-catch is an environmental and aquatic phenomenon that occurs when marine animals are accidentally caught in nets intended for other species.
According to the NOAA report, which was released on June 18th, it is the product of long line fishing that is intended for swordfish and yellowfin tuna, but is catching a large number of bluefin tuna in various fishing areas in the United States.
A source of contention in the past, bluefin tuna is in high demand in the sushi industry, especially in Japan. The fish has been regulated in the past, driving the prices up while still being relatively ineffective in preventing illegal fishing.
The report comes after years of bluefin population decline, with a 96.4% loss in the bluefin population earlier this year in January.