Bluefin tuna being cut at a Tokyo fish market. Photo: Stewart Butterfield via flickr.
Last year it came to light that despite the fact that bluefin tuna is an endangered species, the uber-upscale sushi chain of Nobu restaurants had it on the menu—even after most of their competitors agreed to stop serving the fish. You wouldn't serve tiger or panda on a menu, but apparently because its a fish, and considered a delicacy, that doesn't matter to Nobu. Mongabay now reports that, rather than stop serving the fish, Nobu has put an entirely non-sensical notice on their menus regarding bluefin tuna:
Bluefin tuna is an environmentally threatened species - please ask your server for an alternative.
As the original post points out, there's a big difference between "threatened" and bluefin tuna's actual status which is "critically endangered."
Label Might as Well Tell Environmentalists to F*&! Off
Despite that status, and recommendations for governments to radically reduce bluefin quotas (which at existing levels already get ignored regularly), it is legal to catch and serve bluefin, so Nobu is technically on the right side of the law. However this label on the menu is utterly moronic.
It might as well say "We know that there's been an ongoing campaign against us to stop serving this fish, and that it's not environmentally sustainable to continue to serve it, but you know what? Shove off, we're going to do it anyway, just because people like the way that it tastes."
Bluefin Gone Within 3 Years
So, all for the sake of people's pallets and pocketbooks Nobu won't do a thing to prevent driving bluefin to extinction—something which WWF says will happen within 3 years unless a moratorium is placed on bluefin tuna fishing.
Endangered Atlantic Bluefin Tuna on the Menu at Nobu London
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Will Be Gone Within 3 Years at Current Fishing Rates
You Wouldn't Eat a Tiger, So Why Would You Eat Endangered Bluefin Tuna
New Bluefin Tuna Quota Levels Are a "Mockery of Science"