Well, hummm. People wanting to eat them is the driving force, whether the tuna is canned or not.
Canning makes tuna much easier to ship and to store, and it makes it much cheaper. Those factors make the demand for tuna much higher, and so yes, canning will significantly the amount of tuna harvested. Also canning isn’t always done in the country where the tuna is caught, so it’s attractive to widely-situated businesses, again driving up interest.
With all that demand, why is canned tuna still so cheap? The URL below explores a few reasons, including that canned tuna tends to be the smaller, faster growing kinds (and also less flavorful, you tuna lovers, out there!)
The WorldFish Center estimated that prices for other cheap fish could jump 70% in eight years (by 2020). The types of fish used to fill tuna cans are already being as heavily fished as is possible and law allows. So expect tuna prices to keep rising, and stay high.
Would it help to reduce tuna canning in the future? Soon enough all fish may be so expensive the savings from canning may be a small factor in the overall cost of delivering it to your market.
Yes, tuna is overfished. Being overfished reduces the tuna population and has caused such tunas as the bluefin tuna to be endangered.
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