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Captive spawning of Northern Bluefin Tuna

By Matthew Stansbery Posted Aug 12, 2011 04:55 PM
Umami Seafood, Inc. provides DNA proof of natural Northern Bluefin Tuna spawning in captivity. Northern Bluefin Tuna is one of the most sought-after and expensive sushi-grade Tunas, but its population is at great risk from overfishing. NOAA currently lists the Northern Bluefin as a "species of concern" and will reconsider its endangered status in 2013.
Captive spawning of Northern Bluefin Tuna

A popular sushi dish: Bluefin Tuna populations are under heavy pressure from overfishing.

In response to the seemingly inevitable extinction of several species of Tuna (Thunnus sp.) Umami Seafood inc. has released evidence of its successful aquaculture of Northern Bluefin Tuna. Definitive DNA evidence was collected from eggs and larvae after a third consecutive mass spawning event occurred at its Kali Tuna farming facility in Croatia. Both Pacific and Southern Bluefin have been successfully bred in captivity but the third and very popular sashimi grade Tuna (the Northern Bluefin, Thunnus thynnus) was not aquacultured, until now!

Larvae day 2; 51 hours after hatching
Larvae day 2; 51 hours after hatching
Matching the genetic base between the five year old brood stock and their larvae marked a breakthrough in Tuna aquaculture for Umami. Umami's success means it will no longer have to replace its stock with wild captured juvenile fishes and allows them to grow each specimen from fry at any one of its farming facilities. Kali Tuna is also attempting to replenishing natural shoals of Tuna by releasing millions of fertilized eggs into the wild every year.

Oli Valur Steindorsson, Umami’s Chairman and CEO: “This event marks a major milestone in our company’s ultimate goal of building a commercially viable closed life cycle bluefin tuna farming operation. For three consecutive years at our Croatian facility, we have spawned bluefin tuna in captivity in a natural way. Although we still have a lot of work left to do in achieving our ultimate goal of developing economically viable processes of raising fish from the fry, these results prove that our experience, and our understanding of the species, is paying off. I am now more confident than ever that we will be able to dramatically increase the world’s access to this highly valued food source, without any degradation in quality, while, at the same time, decreasing the pressure on the world’s wild populations.”

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