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Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Tuna's End

A fantastic piece of work from the New York Times Magazine by Paul Greenberg. It's a lengthy work but a hugely stimulating and enlightening read.

Bluefin TunaOn the morning of June 4, in the international waters south of Malta, the Greenpeace vessels Rainbow Warrior and Arctic Sunrise deployed eight inflatable Zodiacs and skiffs into the azure surface of the Mediterranean. Protesters aboard donned helmets and took up DayGlo flags and plywood shields. With the organization’s observation helicopter hovering above, the pilots of the tiny boats hit their throttles, hurtling the fleet forward to stop what they viewed as an egregious environmental crime. It was a high-octane updating of a familiar tableau, one that anyone who has followed Greenpeace’s Save the Whales adventures of the last 35 years would have recognized. But in the waters off Malta there was not a whale to be seen.

What was in the water that day was a congregation of Atlantic bluefin tuna, a fish that when prepared as sushi is one of the most valuable forms of seafood in the world. It’s also a fish that regularly journeys between America and Europe and whose two populations, or “stocks,” have both been catastrophically overexploited. The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, one of only two known Atlantic bluefin spawning grounds, has only intensified the crisis. By some estimates, there may be only 9,000 of the most ecologically vital megabreeders left in the fish’s North American stock, enough for the entire population of New York to have a final bite (or two) of high-grade otoro sushi. The Mediterranean stock of bluefin, historically a larger population than the North American one, has declined drastically as well. Indeed, most Mediterranean bluefin fishing consists of netting or “seining” young wild fish for “outgrowing” on tuna “ranches.” Which was why the Greenpeace craft had just deployed off Malta: a French fishing boat was about to legally catch an entire school of tuna, many of them undoubtedly juveniles.

Read the whole Article Here


Jane Turley said...

What a well written, informative and thought provoking article. As with so many of these environmental issues I am at loss to understand why those who perpetuate these crimes have such a shortsighted view of their actions. Of course, the consumer is guilty too but it is those who regulate who must take control - and the consumer will follow. We are, without doubt, the most selfish of species and sooner or later it will be our downfall:(

Mike's Vent Cleaning said...

That is very sad that there is an end of so many good species on earth and no one seems to bother.The poachers are killing every day and also the eating seems to have no end while there is no concern about breeding them back.

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