Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Public Policy & Administration

First Advisor

Gregory C. Garman


The Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus thynnus) is perhaps the most magnificent and most marvelous nomadic wild animal living in the world. It lives in the deep blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean and is one of the largest of the world’s fin fish and the largest of the 48 other species of tuna (Kuhn, 1996). It is a species that seems to have been designed and sculpted by an artist—sleek, smooth, and beautiful—instead of having been a product of an evolutionary process. Today, the existence and future of the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna is in question because of the constant overexploitation of the stocks for its flesh. The insanely high prices being paid for its flesh have resulted in a modern day gold rush for almost any person who has the ability and equipment to catch it. The movements of the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna take it through multiple jurisdictional, national, and international boundaries, spending part of its life in areas of the world’s commons, also known as the high seas. In each, the species is managed through complex, often cloudy and poorly enforced state, regional, and national laws and international treaties. For decades the terms overfished, under pressure, listing, and extinction have become synonymous with the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna because the scientific facts have, and continue to, indicate that it is in great peril and nearing the tipping point of no return in terms of viability as a species, all because of short-term economics and politics. This dissertation is rooted in complexity theory and public choice theory. The research design for this dissertation is based on the 5-component structure, interactive model, prescribed by Joseph A. Maxwell, Ph.D. (2004), and current policies were evaluated through the policy framework prescribed by Frank Fischer, Ph.D. (1995). Ten public policy steps are suggested to save the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna from collapse.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

December 2012