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NEW YORK -- Industrial fishing fleets have stripped up to 90 percent of the giant tuna, swordfish, and marlin from the world's oceans, according to a new study that suggests a virtual collapse of these stocks is a possibility.
Fishing fleets are now competing for the remnants of the biggest fish in the oceans, a 10-year research project reported in today's issue of Nature magazine concluded. The destruction of the fishing stocks began after the introduction of industrial fishing after World War II. Most of the biggest fish were then pulled from the seas, and never allowed to rebound because of continued fishing pressures. Much of the loss is the result of long line--fishing, in which ships unfurl baited hooks from lines that can stretch up to 50 miles off their sterns.
However, tuna industry scientists have challenged the study, saying its results were simplistic and inconsistent with other data.