CANBERRA, March 14 (Xinhua) -- The Australian population of the southern bluefin tuna (SBT), once considered near-extinction, is in recovery according to a government report.
According to the latest Status of Australian Fish Stock (SAFS) report, released by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) on Thursday, SBT stocks have been rated as recovering.'
The recovery of the species, which remains critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened species, has been attributed to Tuna Champions, a program that encourages fishers to reduce unnecessary SBT deaths and teaches them how to catch, handle, keep, prepare or release the tuna so that it isn't wasted.
An initiative of the Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation (ARFF) and the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS), Tuna Champions is funded by the government through the FRDC.
"It's about making sure they have the best information, based on the research, to fish responsibly and to respect the animal whether it's to catch a feed, or to enjoy the experience with friends and release the fish in a way that gives it the best chance of surviving," IMAS researcher Sean Tracey said in a media release.