12 Dec '11, 8am
New model studies Atlantic bluefin tuna populations:
The two populations recognised by ICCAT consist of the westies in the Gulf of Mexico and the easties that spawn in the Med. Plos ONE is the online journal which has published Murdoch McAllister and Barbara block's study, indicating the pre-mentioned 83% decline in the Gulf and 67% decline in the east. New in the study is tagging data that indicates how migration occurs and the "birth certificate" of the ear bones that shows where the fish hatched. At 35 years old, a mature tuna is 1500lb in mass, capable of swimming across the Atlantic or returning to spawning areas many times (eg. their annual breeding). The model also uses rapid maturation models for the Mediterranean and a slightly slower model for the Gulf.