Saturday, March 2, 2013

Bluefin tuna decline still mainly Japan's fault

Japan is weird - they keep whaling even though most of the world's public opinion decries this practice, and they're eating their favorite sushi fish, toro (aka bluefin tuna) into extinction.  At least we can blame the hunger for sharkfin on the Chinese people.

As I have noted, they need to be apprised of the fact that tuna is radioactive, has way too much mercury, and also has cancerous PCBs in it.

But they'd probably keep eating it.

Worries about decline of bluefin tuna, prized king of sushi, fail to curb Japan's appetite

Without stricter caps, “there is a high likelihood that Pacific bluefin will become less available to Japanese consumers,” said Masayuki Komatsu, a former senior Fisheries Agency official. Japan faces two choices, he said: Immediately impose catch quotas or “stop eating the bluefin to protect it.”


While the media plays a role, the Fisheries Agency, domestic scientists and fishing industry are mainly responsible for failing to address the problem and keeping the public in the dark, Komatsu and other critics say. During his tenure at the agency until 2005, regulators were often more intent on protecting fishermen than marine resources, he said, and they were also reluctant to publicize information about declining fish stocks or impose catch limits for fear of upsetting fishermen or politicians.
But won't the fishermen be MORE upset when they're aren't any fish to catch, and the politicians be upset when they can't eat their favorite toro sushi?

That's a question that needs to be asked.  Repeatedly.

But still...

While Japanese consumers are very sensitive about food safety and quality, awareness about resource management is still not very prevalent. Major retailer Aeon Co. has a lineup of 50 products with a special blue label from the Marine Stewardship Council, which certifies sustainable marine foods. However, MSC-labeled products account for only 3 percent of Aeon’s total fish sales.
 I repeat:  Pacific bluefin tuna is radioactive, and has too much mercury and PCBs in it to be safe to eat.


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