Bougeous

Bougeous

Friday, 27 November 2009

Tuna - The unconsidered alternative

As the wave of opinion gets behind the recent campaign to save the blufin tuna are other key issues being blinkered by this rolling bandwagon? I do not profess to be an expert on the state of tuna fisheries but it is documented well enough to believe that certain stocks of blufin are critically endangered. Any species of endangered animal should be protected and no one could argue against that. The West is the backbone of the recent anti blufin campaign, the very parts of the world that’s insatiable appetite for sashimi has helped to cause such depletions in stock levels. Of course Japan have a lot to answer for but they have, however, been using these species in cuisine for a very long time compared to Europe and the US. So the two problems occur. Firstly what happens to the countries and their fishing fleets that have invested so much money into the infrastructure for catching blufin? The very people encouraged to catch blufin to supply London, Paris and New York? The very people now being blamed for trying to make a living out of an industry the West has turned its back on? The very people that know no other way of life? No wonder the blufin catching countries will not ratify treaties outlawing the capture of their 'own oil'. And secondly, and the most overlooked and crucial point in my opinion, the opinion of a fisheries scientist, is what will happen to the alternative? Well if blufin imports to Japan can be outlawed, the only true way to conserve the species, then a replacement will be required and it will only be the yellow fin Tuna that offers similar tastes and textures. So while we rejoice in saving of the blufin, while we congratulate ourselves on how we forced our hand on many underdeveloped countries and made them change their ways the yellow fin will be shaking its tail in fear. The world is coming to get you – you are the alternative!

2 comments:

  1. 1. Japan is still the main market for the great majority of sashimi tuna of all types including bluefin.

    2. Yellowfin tuna grow faster and reach maturity much earlier than Atlantic or southern bluefin. They can sustain fishing pressure better - which is just as well because yellowfin are already being heavily fished.

    3. Bigeye tuna is considered the second best sashimi tuna to bluefin. I would have thought you as a fisheries scientist/chef would be aware of this.

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  2. Indeed I should have. Thank you for clearing it up. Mat

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