It was when a third of the cinema audience sprang to its feet shouting at us, and my wife, fearing violence, slipped out of the side door, that I began wondering if we had taken on more than we could handle. The screening last month of The End of the Line in Malta, the centre of the Mediterranean bluefin tuna industry, was the closest I have yet come to a riot since I first pointed out that overfishing is killing our oceans.
2010 has been designated the international year of biodiversity, and international attention on Japanese policies toward such endangered species comes at a time when the government is stepping up domestic efforts to prepare for COP10.
History repeats itself: the path to extinction is still paved with greed and waste. By: Jeremy Hance
The story of the Atlantic bluefin tuna is a long and mostly irrational one—that is if one looks at the Atlantic bluefin from a scientific, ecologic, moral, or common-sense perspective.
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.
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.
It’s worth recalling that the countries and campaign groups arguing for bans on tuna and shark trading through CITES were doing so only because Iccat and its fellows have so signally failed to live up to their mandates of conserving the stocks, year after year.
This year at its meeting in Doha, everything changed. Seemingly alarmed by the large number of proposals to list marine species, Japan turned up in force. Japan’s 30-strong delegation was as big as the one from America. And thanks to its “capacity building” efforts—in other words, providing finance for projects in developing countries—Japan was also able to fly in a dozen or so fisheries ministers, mostly from Africa, to ensure their participation—and, no doubt, their votes.