Scientist Spotlight: Dr. Barbara A. Block, Tuna Researcher

Published November 12, 2014

Meet one of the many celebrated scientists attending next week's International Conference on Argos Wildlife Applications here in Baltimore, Dr. Barbara A. Block:

dr-barbara-block

Dr. Block, has dedicated her life to studying pelagic fish and has made incredible strides in our collective knowledge of tunas, sharks and billfishes.

As co-director of the Tuna Research and Conservation Center, Dr. Block leads a tagging program, TAG-A-Giant, which has placed about 2,000 electronic tags on northern bluefin tuna in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Bluefin tuna spawn in certain areas, like the Gulf of Mexico, and migrate great distances, but for many years, important nursery, travel and feeding areas were not well known to scientists.

By tracking these large predators with electronic tags, Dr. Block and her team are better able to understand the movements of wild tuna populations. This data collection and research, both in the lab and in the field, has shed additional light on the physiology and behaviors of tuna in the open ocean.

Bluefin tuna are just one of many species that have suffered from illegal harvesting and overfishing. The more scientists can point to regarding the role this top predator plays in the ecosystem, the better we can make informed decisions on how to best protect and sustain wild tuna populations.

To learn more about Dr. Block’s important work with bluefin tuna, click here.

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