World Tuna Day: A Day to Celebrate the Tuna, a Favorite Food, an Important Industry, and a Critical Species to Protect for the Health of Oceansby The Team at the AllianceMay 2nd, 2017

Celebrate World Tuna Day, today! Tuna is one of the most important fish species in the world, critical to world nutrition, economies and to healthy oceans. Commercially, the top seven tuna species account for $42.2 billion in retail sales annually. Skipjack and yellowfin tuna are among the valuable species found in the Pacific Ocean. In Mexico the skipjack and yellowfin tuna industry brings over $750 million (USD) to the Mexican economy; provides over 30,000 jobs to rural Mexican communities; and provides an affordable delicious source of protein to over half of the Mexican families who eat tuna on a regular basis.

From an ecological perspective the many species of tuna are critical for ocean ecosystems. Tunas are remarkable creatures, with torpedo-shaped bodies that are ideal for both speed and endurance swimming. The bluefin can travel at up to 45 mph, dive to 4,000 feet, and live up to 40 years. Some can top 1,500 pounds. Yellowfin tuna are fiercely loyal to their schools, and most tuna species are warm-blooded.

Those of us who love tuna also want to ensure future generations can enjoy it too. The Mexican tuna industry knows and respects the importance of tuna to our communities and to our oceans – and works to ensure that future generations can enjoy tuna too. We have led on protecting tuna populations and oceans for more than 30 years.

A day to celebrate tuna makes sense: Most people have recently eaten tuna or seen it on a menu. From the tuna served in high-end sushi restaurants to the delicious yellowfin and skipjack tuna found in cans on supermarket shelves, tuna is found across cultures and around the world, and is an important source of protein for millions.

In honor of world tuna day, celebrate with a special recipe for Spicy Tuna Empanadas using healthy, delicious Mexican canned tuna.