We recently received our first sighting from the west coast of Newfoundland! On July 23, 2014, Joe Brazil was out cod jigging in Bonne Bay and sighted something (or somethings!) that peaked his interest.
He saw one (and possibly more) animals moving slowly with their fins showing but they never came closer than 75 feet. Joe wasn’t convinced it was a shark but luckily managed to snap a few photos. Any guesses on the mystery animal?
The mystery animal that Joe saw was another top predator in the ocean: the Atlantic Bluefin tuna! These magnificent fish are one of the fastest and largest of all fish in the world. They reach about 2 m (6.5 feet) in length and about 250 kg (550lbs)!! These speeding bullets, which can attain speeds of 70 km per hour, feed on small fish like mackerel, herring and flying fish, but also eat squid and crustaceans. Bluefin are actually “warm-blooded”, which allows them to thrive in colder, temperate waters (like off Newfoundland!). They are found in the subtropical to temperate waters of the North Atlantic, Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea.
While bluefin tuna have been eaten for centuries, in the 1970s demand soared, especially in Japan, where a single fish has sold for over 1.74 million dollars! As a result of over-fishing, their populations have declined significantly and they are currently listed by the IUCN (Internation Union for Conservation of Nature) as Endangered.