I ate my last bite of bluefin tuna the other night. It came at SHO Shaun Hergatt, a luxurious restaurant in the Wall Street area known for its eponymous chef’s penchant for using the best ingredients from around the world. The bluefin was no exception. Served on a pristine plate with fennel gelée, young ginger and artisanal soy, this was pure o-toro (bluefin belly), the pinnacle of fishly flesh, a barely dressed bombshell that exploded on my palate with incomparable taste and texture. It was awesome. But I have to stop eating it. And so do you.
I told Sue Lieberman yesterday that I was not sure if Charles Clover’s Pearl Harbour analogy in The Sunday Times to describe the bullying by Japan of this month’s CITES conference would hit the right chord in Tokyo. She said, “probably not, but it certainly felt that way”.
Japan’s aggressive lobbying operation in the days before the vote will be familiar to veterans of International Whaling Committee meetings, where poor island nations vote with Japan in return for investment in their fishing industries.
The upshot is, more than ever it’s up to us to do what our governments have failed to do. We need to make the continued trade in endangered species like bluefin politically, socially, and morally unacceptable… and we need to remove the market that makes it so lucrative. Because our collective governments don’t seem up to the job.
The one thing that may not surprise you is that scalloped hammerhead fins are among the most prized for the Chinese delicacy known as shark fin soup. “Finning” remains one of the most disgusting fishing activities. Sharks are caught, their fins are chopped off and they are dumped back alive into the ocean to suffer horrible deaths.
Los pescadores han vapuleado a los ecologistas en una cumbre que la ONU vendió como “una de las ocasiones clave que tendrán los gobiernos este año para tomar medidas de protección de la biodiversidad”.
The experienced and large delegation from Japan showed a deft hand in its win against a bluefin tuna ban and other measures at the 175-nation CITES meeting on endangered species in Qatar.
Observers drew parallels to the failed UN Climate meeting in Copenhagen and environmentalists declared the outcome a “tragedy of the oceans” as the CITES meeting in Doha ended with not one marine species proposed for protection being granted it.