Persevering Researchers Make a Splash With Farm-Bred Tuna

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Science  05 Jun 2009:
Vol. 324, Issue 5932, pp. 1260-1261
DOI: 10.1126/science.324_1260

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To satiate rising demand, dozens of tuna farms have sprung up off Japan's coasts. Each year, Japanese fishers capture 300,000 to 400,000 young bluefins from the open ocean and fatten them in pens before shipping them off to wholesalers. But removing juveniles from the wild has only increased pressure on the heavily fished species, leaving some populations on the brink of collapse (see sidebar). Researchers at Kinki University's Ohshima Experiment Station now hope their hard-won success in rearing second-generation captive tuna—something no other group in the world has accomplished—will give wild tuna a reprieve.