Tokyo Sea Life Park Aquarium: Over 150 Mysterious Tuna Deaths

Francis YupangcoBy Francis Yupangco 4 years ago
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tunaTokyo Sea Life Park Aquarium staff are currently baffled. Of the 160 Bluefin Tuna which have lived in the exhibit up to November of last year, only one fish is left alive as of Tuesday. An investigation is under way to try and figure out why the Tuna are perishing at such astonishing levels. Lighting, noise vibrations, toxins, and water quality are being studied to see if there is any potential risk factors. There was a virus detected in the examined dead fish, but it wasn’t the type to cause fatal deaths. Tokyo Sea Life Aquarium created a Tuna breeding program which was started over two decades ago, in 1989, with the intent to ‘reproduce aquatic habitats in the world’. Tuna have been kept in the aquarium since then. It was only as of November of last year that the Aquarium ever noted the tuna dying in such vast quantities. Bluefin Tuna are an endangered species, mostly due to over fishing of the ever popular sushi cut.  The Aquarium has worked on a breeding program which farm’s the fish off shore, and to bring them to the Aquarium when they are over 1 year in age. Bluefin tuna are very sensitive and hard to keep in captivity. The Aquarium does not have plans to replenish the fish, until they can discover and cure the current ailment leading to the tuna’s death. The investigation is still under way. Hopefully the researchers can find out the culprit soon and fix it, so that they can work on breeding and restoring these endangered fish.  MORE

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Francis Yupangco
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 Francis Yupangco

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Francis is a marine biologist with an MBA and over 20 years of professional aquarium experience. Francis is the former Aquatic Development Manager at Hagen USA., makers of Fluval brand aquarium products. He co-stars on Nat Geo WILD's reality TV series Fish Tank Kings where he is the resident "Fish Geek" and was Director of Marketing at Living Color Aquariums. He is an avid explorer having visited over 45 countries and lived in 7. At 17, he was among the youngest aquarists ever hired by the Vancouver Aquarium, where he worked for 7 years. His aquatic biology experience ranges from larval fish rearing to the design, construction and operational management of renowned public aquariums around the world. Francis is currently head of marketing at the world's largest vertically integrated fish farming company.

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