It's no secret that the world population of bluefin tuna is declining rapidly. The scientific and conservation communities have been calling for an international trade ban for years and Mathew told us last year about a report stating that Atlantic bluefin tuna could disappear in as little as three years if current catch levels were maintained.
To make matters more troubling for the tuna it now seems that Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi is looking to profit from an impending ban. The unconfirmed report was posted without much fanfare on World Fishing Today in the summer of '09. (I hear Mitsubishi's bluefin stockpile is also mentioned int the documentary End of the LIne.) But, there should be renewed interest in these allegations since, as Jaymi reported a couple of weeks ago, Japan's top fisheries negotiator has stated that his country would not comply with an international trade ban on bluefin tuna. (While the US has just announced it will back the ban.)
The website states:
Mitsubishi, Japanese mega-conglomerate, was alleged to have started hoarding thousands of tons of bluefin tuna just as stocks of the fish plummet worldwide.
By its own estimates, Mitsubishi controls 35 to 40 percent of that stock. Commenting on that, Mitsubishi admits that it deep-freezes some of its catch to smooth out short-term supply, some environmentalists believe the company is attempting to corner the bluefin market and hoard inventories as supply continues its downward spiral.
Now, surely it's just good business to stockpile inventory when a shortage of supply is forecast but we're not talking widgets here, we're talking a keystone species. Mitsubishi's i-MiEV electric car may up their green cred, but their attitude towards this endangered species is decidedly brown.
More on Bluefin Tuna
Endangered Bluefin Tuna Fetches Record Price at Tokyo Auction
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Ban Supported by Fishing Commission Scientists' Data
Celebrities Tell Nobu Not to Serve Bluefin Tuna
Nobu Still Serves Endangered Bluefin Tuna, Places Moronic Warning Labels on Menus
You Wouldn't Eat a Tiger, So Why Would You Eat Endangered Bluefin Tuna?