Listed by IUCN as Data Deficient. Western Atlantic bluefin were fished intensively in the 1960s by purse seiners targeting small fish for canneries (Safina, 2001). Obvious depletion led to reduction in the east coast purse seine fleet. Western Atlantic bluefin catches averaged approximately 8,818 tons (8,000 metric tons) during the 1960s and 6,062 tons (5,500 metric tons) during the 1970s. During the 1970s, commercial targeting switched to large fish for export to Japan for sashimi. The offer to buy giant bluefin at $1.45 per pound (0.5 kg) (instead of the previous $0.20 to $0.50 per pound in autumn 1972) greatly increased U.S. fishing pressure on giant bluefin.
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