Sushi Is in Big Trouble
In a Salon.com piece published today, Katharine Mieszkowski explores the economics and environmental impact of the overfishing of bluefin tuna, a widely coveted and highly prized species used in high-end sushi. Behind a new movement to protect the fish are some surprising collaborators: Hollywood celebrities and world-renowned chefs. But do they really have the power to suppress the market and save the bluefin?
With demand for the rare tuna showing no signs of abating, the market for it has grown more feverish. At the highest level of bluefin mania, a single fish that weighed 444 pounds was sold at auction for $174,000 in 2001. Since the tuna jackpot can be so huge, it's no surprise that the weak regulations that exist to curb overfishing have been flouted by greedy constituents of the fishing industry, which put short-term profits over long-term sustainability.Numbers of fish caught are on the decline, while our appetites for sushi are growing. Mieszkowski posits that our personal appetites and corporate greed will eventually starve us.