Monday, November 16

Tuna fishy...

Tsukuji fish market, Tokyo

With Atlantic tuna population estimated to be at only 15% of its pre-industrial levels and worries are that our favorite fish is reaching the end of its (fishing) line according to a recent report.

The organization that is responsible for protecting this valuable fish stock, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, has apparently wimped out on the best strategy for preserving them: rather than put a temporary ban on the catching of this lovely and tasty fish, ICCAT decided to go the route of lowering catch quotas by 1/3, a measure many say is not only largely unenforcible, but will likely increase illegal fishing of prized catch.

This report dovetails with the class reading on the USDA ruling on Monsanto's new GM soybeans that make omega-3 fatty acids, and which they claim may take pressure off of already overfished species like tuna. But is it the insatiable nutritive lust for omega-3's driving the appetite for big game fish? Seems somewhat of a fishy bit of reasoning considering our growing global love for sushi, and in Japan in particular. Not only has ICCAT been criticized for a while now as supporting unsustainable fishing practices that may drive tuna to extinction.

Indeed, if you go to the world's largest fish market Tsukiji, in Tokyo, the haul is evident. They move over 4 million pounds of seafood a day, and the tuna auction is the biggest there is.

Here is a video I took this last summer of some tuna staying cool in the July heat under smal blocks of dry ice, post-auction, at a smaller retailer at the emarket:


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