Current Affairs

World Tuna Day 2021

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  • Published
    3rd May, 2021
  • Context

    World Tuna Day has been observed on May 2 with the objective to promote the conservation and sustainable stock management of this deep sea species.

  • Background

    • In December 2016, the United Nations General Assembly voted to officially observe World Tuna Day on May 2 every year.
    • It aims to draw attention to the importance of conservation management and sustainable fishing.
    • The move underlines the importance of conservation management to ensure that we have systems in place to prevent tuna stocks from crashing.
    • Many countries depend heavily on tuna resources for food security and nutrition, economic development, employment, government revenue, livelihoods, culture, and recreation.
    • Therefore, Sustainable Development Goal 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources - applies to the global tuna market.
  • Analysis

    What is Tuna?

    • Tuna (also known as "tunny") are fish that belong to the tribe Thunnini, a subgroup of Scombridae (the mackerel family).
    • The tribe consists of five genera and 15 species, most of which fall under the genus Thunnus.
    • Tuna migrate throughout the world's oceans and can swim incredibly fast, clocking in at up to 75 miles per hour.
    • They are the only fish to maintain a body temperature higher than the water temperature they are in, and the largest of the tribe—the Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus)—can weigh up to 1,500 pounds.
  • Capturing Tuna in the business

    • More than seven million tonnes of tuna and tuna-like species are harvested yearly across the globe.
    • These migratory tuna species account for 20 per cent of the value of all marine captured fisheries and over eight per cent of all globally traded seafood.

    Tuna in India

    • The potential of tuna in India’s exclusive economic zone is still high. India’s harvesting of tuna is still in the initial phase.
    • The share of purse seine gears’ contribution in the exploitation of tuna is almost negligible.
    • India still uses traditional gears like drift gillnet, handline gears and pole and line gears to catch over 70 per cent of its tuna and tuna-like species.
  • What are the threats to Tuna?

    • High value in global market: It is integrated into the global seafood market with an annual value of more than $42 billion.
    • High nutritional value: Tuna and tuna-like species become a victim of their nutritional success. The species are high in demand due to their being rich in Omega-3, minerals, proteins and vitamin B12, among other advantages.
    • Overexploitation: Its significance is making tuna vulnerable to overexploitation and raising concerns about its sustainable harvest.


    • Fisheries are an important source of nutrition and livelihood across the globe.
    • More than 200 million people depend on them for their livelihood. According to the 2017 Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Corporate Statistical Database, 15-20 of the protein intake of more than 50 per cent of the world population depends on fish and seafood.
    • In some countries, the number reaches 50 per cent.
  • Conclusion

    In the fisheries world, the power is shifting is moving from the ones with the boats to the ones with the fish, even if the former richer and more influential. Without the strong cooperation and cultural linkages, survival of marine ecosystem is doubtful. Only unity and collaboration are the best response to save the marine ecosystem.