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Search for sushi draining Mediterranean's red tuna stocks(enviro calamity induced by sushi?)
AFP ^ | 05/29/06 | Marie-Noelle Valles

Posted on 05/31/2006 1:08:50 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster

Search for sushi draining Mediterranean's red tuna stocks

by Marie-Noelle Valles

Mon May 29, 6:16 PM ET

Too much demand for sushi from Japan may finish off stocks of red tuna running dangerously low in the Mediterranean owing to overfishing, say environmentalists from Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

"Japan absorbs between 90 and 95 percent of catches of red tuna and the Mediterranean version is especially appreciated," explains Jose Luis Garcia, head of the WWF oceans section.

The price of a prize red tuna can top 50,000 euros (60,000 dollars) on the Japanese market.

"In opening new markets, exploitation (of stocks) has been pushed even further," Garcia said, alluding to the growing international taste for sushi.

Ecologists want to highlight the threat in the run-up to a meeting in Croatia of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT).

And they have made common cause with small-scale fishermen who see industrial-scale practices ravaging the stocks on which they base their livelihood.

The international commission is to reevaluate annual fishing quotes for the first time since 2002, which are currently fixed at 32,000 tonnes for the "western Atlantic" zone.

Prior to the November meeting ICCAT scientists are going to meet in Madrid from June 12 to 18 to draw up a list of recommendations.

Greenpeace and the WWF hope to make their own voices heard.

"In 2002, scientists recommended 22,000 tonnes, but ICCAT decided to give 10,000 tonnes more," says Garcia.

Even this generous quota has been exceeded, say environmentalists, who claim the overall catch in 2005 hit between 40,000 and 50,000 tonnes due to fishermen overraiding stocks.

"This time we want to see the quotas come down enormously in response to the crisis," says Garcia.

The environmentalists are not targetting the small-scale fishermen who use nets according to local custom, but industrial flotillas and their high-tech operations.

With boats guided by satellite and planes that circle above banks of tuna during the breeding season, they capture thousands at one go before taking them to tuna farms to be fattened.

The centres, which receive large-scale EU subsidies, are farms in name only as they do not practise any kind of aquaculture, red tuna being unable to reproduce in captivity.

In contrast, the traditional fishermen in the Bay of Cadiz of southwestern Spain practice an age-old system of netting migratory tuna.

"Almadraba" is a spectacular method dating back more than 3,000 years to Phoenician times. The fishermen set out from the beach to cast out nets that go down as far as 23 metres (yards).

When the tuna appear in sufficient number on their migration across the Strait of Gibraltar to reproduce in the Mediterranean, the fishermen draw up the nets and haul their enormous catch aboard.

Many of the Almadrabas fishermen have today disappeared from the Mediterranean, environmentalists note, lamenting the demise of a method which respects the sea and its fauna.

Those fishermen who do remain have joined forces with the ecologists after being made victims of overfishing.

In the Strait of Gibraltar and the local ports of Barbate, Zahara de los Atunes, Tarifa and Conila, the tuna season which opened in April is about to come to an end.

It has not not been a prosperous one.

By late May only 3,787 tuna had been caught, down from 8,390 in 2000 -- "a disaster," according to Marta Crespo, who manages the local fishing organisation.

Only the best-placed survive around Cadiz, where the tuna hug the coast to avoid the strong currents common to the middle of the strait.

At Barbate, freezer ships from Japan come to load up the merchandise directly. The choicest pieces, such as the exquisite flesh from the tuna's stomach, will be dispatched by plane from the tiny local airport, to be served up as a delicacy, only hours later and across the world.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: japan; mediterraneanflood; meditterranean; messiniandessication; overfishing; sushi; tuna
Maybe they should cut down on red tuna, and switch to salmon, octopus, squid, and shrimp. It will be sometime before enviros howl about extinction of squid and shrimp.:)

By the way, I suspect that, even with this much tuna coming in, tuna sushi will be still d*mn expensive in Japan unless they find a way to mass-produce them using industrial robots.:)

1 posted on 05/31/2006 1:08:53 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
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To: TigerLikesRooster; sushiman; Ronin; AmericanInTokyo; gaijin; struggle; DTogo; GATOR NAVY; Iris7; ...


2 posted on 05/31/2006 1:09:31 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
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To: TigerLikesRooster

Tuna are safe from being fished to extinction. Eventually the cost of tuna will become so expensive it will cause the Japanese stock market to crash, causing mass suicides by rich Japanese, thus depleting the demand for tuna. /sarc

3 posted on 05/31/2006 1:15:17 AM PDT by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
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To: coconutt2000
Re #3

Well, "Tuna Hell" is about to unfold in Japan.:)

4 posted on 05/31/2006 1:22:56 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
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To: coconutt2000; TigerLikesRooster; sushiman; Ronin; AmericanInTokyo; gaijin; struggle; DTogo; ...

Fishing stocks are crashing everywhere, simply because no one owns the resource. Crashing populations simply means a higher market price, that will essentially mean that fishing will continue until the cost of catching tuna (or whatever fish) exceeds the market price. Meanwhile, the Japanese are getting a great deal that doesn't include anyone's cost for maintaining the resource - viz., the world is subsidizing sushi consumption.

Countries need to get their acts together and start rolling out ITQs (individual transferable quotas), like they use in NZ and AK (for halibut). Otherwise we will just see resources wasted in a free for all to catch fish. This is up for debate in Congress now for US fisheeries generally.

5 posted on 05/31/2006 1:24:42 AM PDT by TokyoTom (A free-for-all for an unowned resource ....)
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To: TigerLikesRooster
That kind of sushi is an expensive delicacy for the super rich Japanese anyhow. It would be no skin off my nose if they banned it, or at least put a moratorium on it to let the fish stocks build back up.
But then, I have never been that fond of raw fish anyhow.
6 posted on 05/31/2006 1:29:21 AM PDT by Ronin (Ut iusta esse, lex noblis severus necesse est.)
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To: Ronin
Re #6

Thanks to you, I will be able to get them a little cheaper. Thanks for counting yourself out from competition. Every bit helps.:)

7 posted on 05/31/2006 1:59:00 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
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To: TigerLikesRooster
My pleasure.

Enjoy! In fact, have an extra portion or two of fugu to go along with it. :-)
8 posted on 05/31/2006 2:16:44 AM PDT by Ronin (Ut iusta esse, lex noblis severus necesse est.)
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To: TokyoTom

Thou speakest wisely, o my friend.

9 posted on 05/31/2006 2:35:35 AM PDT by yankeedame ("Oh, I can take it but I'd much rather dish it out.")
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To: TigerLikesRooster
I'm not sure why anyone would put a high money value on fish caught in the Mediterranean ... it's known as Europe's cesspool. In terms of aesthetics it's a beautiful body of water, what flows into it is another matter entirely.
10 posted on 05/31/2006 2:35:45 AM PDT by BluH2o
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To: BluH2o
Interesting factoid about the Med - it has been known to completely evaporate in the past.

Messinian salinity crisis

If the Strait of Gibraltar closes again, which is likely to happen in the near geological future (though extremely distant on a human time scale) (and the Suez Canal closes), the Mediterranean would evaporate dry in about a thousand years.

11 posted on 05/31/2006 3:09:32 AM PDT by alnitak ("That kid's about as sharp as a pound of wet liver" - Foghorn Leghorn)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

They can save the stocks by employing the catch, bite, release method of sushi fishing.

12 posted on 05/31/2006 3:29:37 AM PDT by gotribe (It's not a religion.)
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To: gotribe
They can save the stocks by employing the catch, bite, release method of sushi fishing.

With the Japanese having a fondness for sushi, maybe we can introduce them to a new 'delicacy."

Raw mudcat. ;)
13 posted on 05/31/2006 4:21:06 AM PDT by Renderofveils (Qur’an 8:39 “So, fight them until all opposition ends and the only religion is Islam.”)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

Try turkey sushi instead, it's killer.

14 posted on 05/31/2006 4:32:54 AM PDT by Jaysun (Cold showers turn me on.)
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To: TokyoTom

Here's the Tragedy of the Commons for all to see, where no one and everyone owns the resource. Eventually it's used, abused and used up. Our socialist federal forests (the commons) are one example of the resource being destroyed by our government's Marxist policy.

I'm not familiar with ITQ. Will check it out.

15 posted on 05/31/2006 5:02:21 AM PDT by sergeantdave (And though getting up in the world attracts attention, it does not establish solid worth.)
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To: TigerLikesRooster; maikeru; Dr. Marten; Eric in the Ozarks; Al Gator; snowsislander; sushiman; ...
The choicest pieces, such as the exquisite flesh from the tuna's stomach,

Stomach?! Obviously referring to toro or the fattier meat on the underside of the tuna covering the abdomen. Makes one wonder if the author knows anything about this topic and isn't just responding to enviro hysteria.

Japan * ping * (kono risuto ni hairitai ka detai wo shirasete kudasai : let me know if you want on or off this list)

16 posted on 05/31/2006 6:10:08 AM PDT by DTogo (I haven't left the GOP, the GOP left me.)
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To: Jaysun
Try turkey sushi instead, it's killer.

Never tried turkey sushi, but I have had chicken sashimi. They sear the outside of a chicken breast, slice it up thinly and then serve it with a bowl of ponzu sauce to dip it in. Many restaurants specialize in it and I never heard of any cases of salmonella resulting from it.

Most Japanese that I asked said that this was because of the quality of the meat and the caution used while preparing it and I tend to believe them. In general the fresh food that is sold in Japan is of higher quality than what we buy in the states. But then it is far more expensive and the Japanese seem to have an obsession for buying things that are high quality.

17 posted on 05/31/2006 10:34:33 AM PDT by elmer fudd
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To: elmer fudd
I was just mouthing off. Don't eat raw turkey because of anything I've said.

I don't eat raw anything, save beef, of course.
18 posted on 05/31/2006 12:20:50 PM PDT by Jaysun (Cold showers turn me on.)
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To: sergeantdave

You are totally right about government-owned public resources; bureaucratic and politcal management are recipes for incompetent management and sweet deals to favored industries ("rent-seeking").

Outside the US and the developed nations, the problems are usually much worse, because either technology leads to a truly unfettered race (as in fisheries) or public resources are being sold off cheap to line the pockets of wealthy elites.

19 posted on 05/31/2006 11:06:32 PM PDT by TokyoTom (Government is the problem half of the time)
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To: DTogo

I'm new, so I really know little yet about lists; can you tell me about yours?


20 posted on 05/31/2006 11:09:54 PM PDT by TokyoTom (Japan risuto ga aru nara watashi mo nosete moraemasuka?)
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