International efforts to reduce fishing quotas for critically endangered Atlantic bluefin tuna, or better yet ban the trade outright, may have failed (again...), but that doesn't mean you can't help take action to reduce demand. The Center for Biological Diversity has just launched a boycott campaign urging chefs, restauranteurs and consumers to not buy or serve the bluefin tuna.CBD says,
Bluefin tuna are teetering on the brink of extinction. If regulators won't protect these magnificent fish, it's up to consumers and restaurants to eliminate the market demand, and that means refusing to eat, buy or serve this species. The desperate plight of bluefin tuna has been well-known for years and, while some restaurants have rightly removed it from their menus, others continue to serve it. That has to stop if we're going to keep this fish from slipping into oblivion.
Where's the greatest market demand? Japan, which accounts for the overwhelming majority of bluefin consumed in the world. While it's undeniably good to boycott the consumption of bluefin (or take it farther, places that even have it on the menu), for demand really to be reduced the Japanese market is the one that has to be addressed.Towards that, CBD is asking consumers to sign a pledge not to eat bluefin or patron restaurants that serve it. There's also a pledge for restauranteurs to sign. And more info at: bluefinboycott.org.
In case this issue has passed you by until now:
Atlantic and Southern bluefin tuna are both listed as endangered by IUCN, with populations of the former reduced 80% since the 1970s. At current fishing rates, which far exceed the official quotas due to rampant illegal fishing, Atlantic bluefin will likely become extinct by 2012. Pacific bluefin tuna are not listed as endangered, but the National Marine Fisheries Service says they are still being overfished.
Want more a more sustainable alternative? Check out: Seafood Watch Program.
Boycott image: Center for Biological Diversity. Water background: Sarai/Creative Commons
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More on Bluefin Tuna:
International Tuna Meeting Fails to Reduce Bluefin Quotas - Short-Term Profits Trump Sustainability
Mitsubishi Hopes To Profit From Bluefin Tuan Decline
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Will Be Gone By 2012 At Current Fishing Rates