Seems like at least once a year, we discuss the plight of the bluefin tuna and rarely have good news to report. This time is no exception with no let up for the beleaguered species in its Mediterranean breeding grounds. The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) voted this week on the 2011 quota for the fishery.
Despite earlier promises to really slash the EU catch to give this species the vital break it needs from overfishing, in the end the quota for bluefin came in it at a reduction of 600 tons. Though this might sound like a break, this is a 13,500 ton fishery and so barely scratches the surface.
Once again politics trumps science. The bluefin - the world's most valuable wild animal - is still worth more dead than alive, threatened, than thriving.
When will the tide turn for the bluefin? Perhaps not until is is considered valuable for its own sake, and its value is seen as the vital component, top predator, in a complex marine web. A big leap for mankind? Perhaps, but in our not too distant past whales faced this exact same threat and we finally came through for them. Something to be thankful for this season.
Download your sustainable sushi guide today, and please Avoid bluefin, Hon Maguro.