BLUEFIN TUNA

Scuba Diver Australasia + Ocean Planet - - Inspirational Images Of 25 Ocean Species Under Thr - Text & Pho­tos by Richard Her­rmann

Tuna has been one of my pas­sions for many years. I fished for them when I was younger and pho­tographed them as I got older. I dreamt of one day see­ing the biggest tuna of them all, the At­lantic bluefin. I was for­tu­nate to be a still pho­tog­ra­pher on the Gala­tee Films / Dis­ney Na­ture film pro­ject, Oceans. For two days we were al­lowed to film in a com­mer­cial tow net in the Mediter­ranean. The fish were huge and beau­ti­ful. I had wanted a por­trait of the fish and used an un­usual un­der­wa­ter com­bi­na­tion of a dome port with the Canon 24–105mm zoom, at the long end.

High de­mand for At­lantic, Pa­cific and south­ern bluefin tuna in high-end sushi and sashimi mar­kets (a sin­gle fish has sold for over USD1.75 mil­lion) has led to over­fish­ing and il­le­gal fish­ing, caus­ing their pop­u­la­tions to de­cline se­verely over the past few decades. A top preda­tor in the ma­rine food chain, they help main­tain a bal­ance in the ocean en­vi­ron­ment. The World Wildlife Fund has been tagging the At­lantic bluefin tuna in the Mediter­ranean Sea to learn more about their mi­gra­tory be­hav­iours and ad­vise fish­ery man­agers how best to pro­tect the species.

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