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Podcast: Are tuna doing as well as latest extinction risk assessments suggest? It’s complicated

Yellowfin tuna image by Martin Gil Gallo. via the Creative Commons, CC-By-NC.

Yellowfin tuna image by Martin Gil Gallo. via the Creative Commons, CC-By-NC.

  • Today we look at some of the biggest news to emerge from the IUCN World Conservation Congress, which just took place in Marseilles, France.
  • Mongabay staff writer Elizabeth Claire Alberts, who attended the Congress in-person, tells us about her experience at the pandemic-era “hybrid event,” why it was so important that Indigenous peoples were admitted as full voting members for the first time ever, and about two of the most important motions that were approved by IUCN members.
  • Pew Charitable Trusts’ senior officer for international fisheries Grantly Galland discusses the reassessments of tuna extinction risks released by the IUCN during the Congress, and tells us why species-level assessments don’t tell us the whole story about tuna populations.

Today we take a look at some of the key outcomes of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s World Conservation Congress, a global gathering of governments, scientists, NGOs, and Indigenous Peoples that just wrapped up last weekend in Marseilles, France. The Congress is one of the largest global conservation summits in the world, bringing together numerous decisionmakers and stakeholders to help shape the global environmental and wildlife conservation agenda.

Listen here:

Joining us today is Mongabay staff writer Elizabeth Claire Alberts, who is based in Belgium and was thus able to attend the IUCN World Conservation Congress in person. Alberts tells us about her experiences on the ground and the significance of the fact that Indigenous peoples were admitted for the first time as full voting members of the Congress. She also discusses two of the most important resolutions that were approved at the Congress: one calling for the protection of 80% of the Amazon rainforest, and another in support of a moratorium on deep-sea mining.

We’re also joined today by Grantly Galland, a senior officer working on international fisheries for the Pew Charitable Trusts. Galland joins us to discuss the announcement of some new species extinction risk assessments announced by the IUCN during the World Conservation Congress. Four of the most commercially important tuna species had their statuses upgraded on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, but Galland tells us how these species-level assessments can obscure the real trouble some distinct tuna populations are facing.

Further reading/listening:

• ​​”‘Global Indigenous Agenda’ for land rights, conservation launched at IUCN congress” by Ashoka Mukpo (8 September 2021)

”Podcast: Two tunas and a tale of managed extinction” (23 April 2021)

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Featured Image: Yellowfin tuna. Photo by Martin Gil Gallo, licensed under CC BY-NC.

Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001

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