|Where the Chinese tradition is to be the bane of all things that walks on four legs (I’d say even two legs), the Japanese are the bane of all things that swim.|
January 9, 2013
A new assessment of Pacific bluefin tuna by the United States and the Government of Japan shows populations of the fish have fallen by more than 96 per cent as a result of decades of overfishing.
Campaigners have fought for tighter controls on taking the fish, considered to be more rare than the giant panda or tiger, from both the Atlantic and the Pacific.
But with a single fish fetching more than £1 million at auction in Tokyo a few days ago, demand remains high and overfishing continues.
Pew Environment Group called for fishing to be suspended until significant steps were taken to reverse the species’ decline or the species were “in danger of all but disappearing” from the Pacific.
Fishing vessels continue to catch the species in its only known spawning and nursery areas in the western Pacific, while management in the eastern Pacific is better but still not enough to halt the decline, the environmental group said.
The conservationists also warned that more than 90% of bluefin tuna caught were juveniles and had not had a chance to reproduce before they were killed.
The 96.4 percent decline in spawning bluefin is compared with unfished levels, based on statistical modeling. It does not identify when the tuna’s population was at those levels.
Amanda Nickson, who directs global tuna conservation at the Pew Environment Group, said the overfishing must stop.
“This latest assessment shows just how bad the situation really is for this top predator.
“This highly valuable fish is being exploited at almost every stage of its life cycle, and more than 90 per cent of Pacific bluefin caught are juveniles, taken before they have even reproduced.
“Further, fishing continues on the spawning grounds of this heavily overfished tuna species.”
The Atlantic bluefin tuna is also threatened by overfishing, but the body overseeing the region recently decided to set quotas for the species in line with scientific advice, a move welcomed by conservation groups.
But alas, it isn’t just the Japanese. Many Americans and others think it posh to eat sushi. And representing the ignorant and stupid amongst humanity everywhere, they shovel the toxic shit into their face. The fight to save blue fin has never landed any blows unfortunately – they continue to be herded and fished relentlessly due to greed; both the greed of the fisherman and fisheries, and by the greed of self-entitled consumers like us.