London, July 14 : Seeing the rapid decline of Bluefin tuna, scientists have used a special speargun to implant hormones into the fish in sea-cages off the coast of Italy, thus making the species spawn and grow in large numbers.
Bluefin tuna are among the most expensive fish on the planet, with just one selling for more than 100,000 dollars in Tokyo, where it is highly prized by top sushi chefs.
But the taste for this luxury tuna in Japan has decimated global bluefin populations.
Now, according to a report in New Scientist, scientists have used special spearguns to implant hormones into adult bluefin in sea-cages off Italy.
Three days later they spawned, producing 10 million fertilized eggs in four days.
"This is the first time anyone has got this amount of bluefin eggs," said Chris Bridges of Heinrich Heine University in Dusseldorf, Germany. "It's good news for tuna, as it may allow the big fish to be farmed," he added.
This weekend's harvest of baby bluefin has been sent to aquaculture research institutes in Malta, France, Spain, Crete and Israel to see who can raise the most adults.