bluefin tuna being hand fed

Bluefin Tuna Starvation So Extreme They Now Accept Hand Feeding

The majestic Giant Bluefin Tuna were once abundant across the world’s oceans

Today in some major ocean pastures they are reduced to just 3% of their former numbers.

Those remaining Bluefin have left their dying open ocean pastures to swim close to shore to find food

Near shore they are now being seen to be begging for food handed to them literally by hand from fishermen

New documentary film shows the crisis of the last of the Giant Bluefin Tuna

The fact of our global ocean pastures turning into clear blue deserts has never been more obvious than is seen in the behaviour of shy Giant Bluefin Tuna of the Western North Atlantic. There off the coast of Canada Bluefin tuna are displaying a behaviour never before seen. They are so desperate for food they are coming up to boats to beg for food. Taking what handouts are given directly from the hands of fishermen. These fish historically have been amongst the most shy of all of ocean life, now they are reduced to begging for help to survive.

“Normally, they’re vary wary fish and would be frightened to go near fishermen, like they have traditionally in the past,” said Hopkins. “But these guys are coming right up to the boat looking to be hand-fed like pets, because it’s basically the only survival route that they have at this moment.

This new documentary from the National Film Board of Canada shows the shocking truth of the crisis of starvation of the Giant Bluefin Tuna. Of course it’s not just the tuna that are starving into extinction in the North Atlantic the situation is just as bad for the Atlantic Cod and Salmon.


Director and writer John Hopkins documents the mystery of North Lake’s bluefin tuna. Some estimates indicate that more than 80 per cent of the world’s Western Atlantic bluefin population has been wiped out from overfishing, yet in North Lake, known as the “Tuna Capital of the World,” they swarm in massive numbers. In the South Pacific only 3% of the bluefin tuna remain.

And they’re always hungry, says Hopkins — so hungry, in fact, they’ve lost their fear of humans entirely and endanger themselves near fishing vessels for the chance to eat. Something strange is happening and it’s causing major confusion in the case to conserve them: are Atlantic bluefin tuna on the rebound or not?

Bluefin, a National Film Board of Canada documentary, is already making waves. It received the 2017 Wildlife Award at San Francisco’s International Ocean Film Festival and the Best Atlantic Filmmaker Award at the Lunenburg Doc Fest, and was nominated as 2017’s Best Feature Documentary at the Raindance Festival in London, England.

When any pasture degrades to a desert, the only solution is to restore the pasture.

We now know with great confidence much of the vital biology and ecology of the Giant Bluefin tuna. They are a herd animal just like the great herds of grazing animals on the African Plains or the plains of Asia, like the once countless buffalo of North America that was senselessly hunted nearly to extinction. As with all the great wild herds of the world if we destroy their pastures they will die. Surely we can over-hunt and over-fish which we have inevitably done, and do, but first and foremost to sustain the great herds we must sustain their pastures on land and at sea.

That juvenile Bluefin Tuna pictured at the top of this post given a healthy ocean pasture can grow to weigh over 500 lbs. in just five years time.

That we can over-fish the Bluefin into near extinction is certain given that at this same time their ocean pastures are becoming blue deserts due to the ecological destruction wrought by our high and rising industrial CO2 emissions. The problem with CO2 is that it makes the grass on the Earth grow better and that is the worst news ever for the oceans this is reported widely as global greening.

More grass growing means less dust blowing!

global grass growing

Global Greening 1982-2015 – Click to enlarge

Everyone knows that grass and other plants on land grow in abundance when there is plenty of rain. That’s because it is rain that plants are in most need of, they have the minerals nutrients they need as they grow in the dirt. But ocean plants, the grass of ocean pasture the phyto-plankton, they grow in water and what they must have to survive and thrive is dust. That dust comes to them blown from the land in the wind. But as our high and rising CO2 has produced global greening the ocean pastures are suffering through a terrible drought.

The prescription to return the oceans to historic health and abundance is simple – give back to the ocean pastures the natural dust we have denied it. 

For more than 30 years since the late great ocean scientist John Martin proposed this simple ocean remedy hundreds of scientists from more than 50 nations have been engaged in research on how to become proper stewards of our ocean pastures. Humanity learned this on land some 10,000 years ago when we first began to act as caring shepherds of our earthly pastures. It’s not rocket science, just basic common caring agriculture that is almost innate in humanity.

There are plenty of scientific details to know and understand and fortunately we have multi-billion dollar fleets of satellite orbiting our Blue Planet that readily allow us to study and understand the ecology and growing seasons and locations of the ocean pastures that sustain the great herds of Bluefin and other marine life.

We’ve studied and tested idea and you know what? Especially me, as I have performed the largest trial of ocean pasture restoration. IT JUST WORKS!

sitka news salmon story

My 2012 ocean pasture replenishment and restoration work in the NE Pacific returned the ocean to life as seen in the largest catch of salmon in all of history in Alaska the next year. CLICK TO READ MORE

Restoring the Bluefin Tuna pastures of the Pacific Ocean is long overdue. We can, and we must act immediately to bring back those giant fish. Join me.