Thousands pledge to boycott restaurants serving bluefin tuna

Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com
December 01, 2010



So far over 14,000 people have pledged to boycott eating bluefin tuna or visiting any restaurant that serves the imperiled species. The boycott, begun by US-conservation organization Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), is striving to raise awareness about a species that many scientists say is being fished to the brink of extinction.

"These magnificent marine creatures, famous for their race car-like speeds, are being severely overfished—in fact, the Atlantic bluefin tuna population has been reduced by more than 80 percent since industrial fishing practices began," states a message from the CBD. Given its stark population declines, the fish is currently listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List.

Despite this, the Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) continues to face setbacks to its survival. In the spring, the species missed being listed for protection under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) after heavy lobbying by Japan, while last month the species' regulatory group, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT), decided on a fishing quota that was only slightly lower than the previous year, despite continuing concerns that the species could become functionally extinct.

Three-quarters of the lucrative Atlantic bluefin tuna catch goes to one country, Japan, where it is mostly consumed as sushi. However, restaurants in the US and Europe have also served the endangered species. The high-class sushi restaurant owned by Robert DeNiro, Nobu, has faced criticism for its unwillingness to take bluefin off the menu.







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CITATION:
Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (December 01, 2010).

Thousands pledge to boycott restaurants serving bluefin tuna.

http://news.mongabay.com/2010/1201-hance_bluefin_boycott.html