UN marks first World Tuna Day with calls to conserve it

The United Nations is marking the first World Tuna Day with calls to conserve one of the globe's most popular fish to be caught and eaten.

General Assembly President Peter Thomson said Tuesday that tuna plays a critical role "in sustainable development, food security, economic opportunity, and livelihoods of people around the world."

He says tuna species, which are highly migratory, account for 20 percent of the value of all fish caught and over 8 percent of all internationally traded seafood.

The former Fijian ambassador adds in a statement: "Regrettably, with the decline in the health of the ocean, the fish stocks including tuna face growing threats and an uncertain future."

The General Assembly established World Tuna Day in December to reinforce its importance to nations around the globe.