Tuna is really nice. I like tuna… but i’ve not been eating it for the last couple of years. It’s a meaningless gesture.
Fish stocks across the world are in retreat because of over-fishing. One study suggests oceans will be stripped clean of all fish by 2048. Bluefin is imminently at risk of commercial extinction. The wildlife charity WWF forecasts that breeding stocks of the fish that migrate from the Atlantic to spawn will be wiped out in the Mediterranean by 2012.
— Revealed: the bid to corner world’s bluefin tuna market, The Independent.
The demand for bluefin tuna in Japan is huge, and drives this business… it’s obviously very profitable for all the parties involved – from corporations, to restaurants, from middlemen, to organised crime. However, given the world’s experience with whaling, it’s really hard to see how we make any progress on these issues.
And, it’s not a new problem. In Monterey, California, there is a museum in one of the now closed canneries showing the 1000lb tuna they used to catch and can. The catch was so huge that it destroyed the market price, much of it ending up at pet food factories. In the North Sea, and North Atlantic, cod has been fished literally to the point of extinction. The same is probably true for herring. It takes a complete collapse in a fishery, literally getting to the point where no fish can be found, before action is possible.
We are rapacious.
The actions of a few are meaningless against the vested interests of industries and corporations; pointless in the face of advertising preaching the virtues of ever higher levels of consumption. Who dreams of the simple life? Our only hope is a change in fashion!