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Protesting Bluefin Tuna

Posted By Allison On June 5, 2009 @ 9:18 pm In Other Sushi Randomness | 21 Comments

In the world of sushi, a big issue these days is sustainability. The way certain fish and other seafood are caught is harmful to the environment, and depleting the limited numbers of fish in the ocean.

One of the most widely-known endangered fish is bluefin tuna. More people who frequently eat sushi know that bluefin is endangered, and may be gone within a few years at the rate we consume them, than any other type of seafood.

Some people who feel strongly about this issue have decided to take action. To help broaden public awareness about the issues concerning bluefin tuna, they are bringing attention to the fact that popular, well-known sushi restaurant Nobu offers bluefin tuna on it’s menu. (Many top sushi restaurants no longer serve bluefin tune, opting for the more sustainable yellowfin tuna.)

In recent attempt, many celebrities signed a petition in an attempt to convince the Nobu restaurant in London to remove bluefin from it’s offerings, and have threatened to boycott. (See articles here [1], here [2], here [3], and here [4] for more details regarding the petition and boycott.) Alton Brown (of Iron Chef fame) just announced live that he “won’t set foot in Nobu until it stops selling bluefin tuna.”

Just a week ago there was another such event at the Nobu in TriBeCa, New York, where Greenpeace organized a dine-in. Participants including Casson Trenor, the author of Sustainable Sushi [5], attempted to replace menus and business cards at Nobu with their own that pointed out Nobu’s practice of serving the endangered bluefin tuna, and tried to ask the waitstaff about the sustainability of the sushi they serve. (See articles here [6], here [7], and here [8] for more details regarding the dine-in.) It is reported that the participants did tip the waiters that evening, because Nobu’s practices are not the responsibility of the waitstaff.

Another such event has been scheduled for tonight at the Nobu in West Hollywood, California.

So I want to know: what do you think about this? Do you think the tactics of Greenpeace were effective? Do you believe Nobu and other restaurants should be left alone to serve whatever they wish? How do you feel about the issue of sustainability as it applies to seafood?

Note: I have never used bluefin tuna on Sushi Day. When I use tuna, I always make a point to use the more sustainable, less endangered yellowfin tuna.

Another note: I really want to hear your opinions, everyone. But please keep it polite and civil – it helps no one if this degenerates into a flame war, and I really don’t want to have to butt in and moderate you guys.

Last note, I promise: Don’t worry, Sushi Day won’t turn into a news-centric site. I’ll be back with another sushi recipe within a couple of days, promise.

Article printed from Sushi Day: http://sushiday.com

URL to article: http://sushiday.com/archives/2009/06/05/protesting-bluefin-tuna/

URLs in this post:

[1] here: http://www.hellomagazine.com/celebrities/200906051378/nobu-boycott/de-niro/tuna/1/

[2] here: http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23704167-details/Stars+tell+Nobu+to+end+its+line+in+bluefin+tuna/article.do

[3] here: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/news/celebrity-diners-say-no-to-nobu-1697320.html

[4] here: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/dailydish/detail?blogid=7&entry_id=41258

[5] Sustainable Sushi: http://sushiday.com/archives/2009/02/28/sustainable-sushi-contest/

[6] here: http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/30/greenpeace-takes-on-nobu/?ref=nyregion

[7] here: http://blogs.villagevoice.com/forkintheroad/archives/2009/06/greenpeace_disr.php

[8] here: http://www.nypost.com/seven/06052009/gossip/pagesix/stars_in_tuna_with_nobu_gripe_172716.htm