(N.B. This is a follow on article from Troubles for Tuna III)
At the ICCAT (International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna) meeting last week, a critical decision was to be made regarding the 2008 bluefin tuna quotas, a decision that could be one of the most important in saving the species. While the head of the ICCAT’s scientific committee pled that new restrictions were necessary to preserve the species (he in fact stated that the species’ “collapse at this point is probable”), the committee instead effectively raised quotas for 2008. Interestingly, no statement was issued at the conclusion of the meeting, leading me to conclude that they know that they may have signed the death warrant for the bluefin tuna by kowtowing to certain member nations who simply wanted more at the expense of the bluefin tuna.
The proposed “recovery plan” is rapidly turning out to be an extinction plan. The bluefin tuna is the most valuable fish in the sea, bringing in large streams of revenue to the fisheries (and nations) that harvest this creature. It is the most popular sushi item on the menu, and toro, the fatty belly meat, is considered a delicacy by sushi fans the world around. The ICCAT is doing their best to keep this item on the menu for the time being, but in a few years, good luck finding it anywhere as, at this rate, there will be no more bluefin tuna in our oceans to catch. I have stopped eating maguro and toro for now, and while I am just one person, each of you will need to make a decision as to whether you want to help save the species and make your opinion known, or act as if none of this matters. A world without toro is not a life-threatening issue, but to cause the extinction of another of Earth’s great species because of our greed, in my opinion, is.
The sushi guy
I have always been fascinated by the creation and culture of different foods, particularly sushi and sashimi in the modern era of Japanese cuisine. I am a classically trained chef and sushi connoisseur, also having operated a food service company and enjoy investigating and experimenting with food around the world.