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Mind Your Tuna Sandwich…and Your Sushi

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Mmm! Sitting before you, a delicious sandwich, fresh from the deli bar, heaped with tuna squeezed between lettuce and tomatoes, or maybe a colorful plate of expensive sushi.


If you shop with your parents, you may be aware of the extraordinary price of fish these days, though you may not be put off by the cost. Yet can you innocuously satiate your appetite while imposing a non-repayable debt on our oceans’ ecosystems?

Alarmingly, worldwide fish stocks are rapidly being depleted as more and more technologically-sophisticated fishermen vie for a finite fish population. In particular, the stock of bluefin tuna, for which the Japanese sushi-chefs pay extravagant prices, is estimated at two percent of its 1940 level .

Many labels nowadays advertise the “dolphin-safe” quality of tuna, a false reassurance to the uninformed consumer. What is behind that exonerating phrase that is truly deceptive?

These labels do not state the origin of the tuna (it most likely comes from an endangered fishery), nor the impact our purchases have on other animals such as endangered sharks, turtles, and albatrosses, often caught during the fishing. In fact, we the consumers are not even told the particular species of tuna served to us. This “suspicious anonymity” represses our awareness and concern for the calamity we are inflicting on the blighted tuna species.

The truth has been concealed from us: the planet’s supply of fish will soon be gone if we continue to consume it at the present rate, and with it, our entire saltwater ecosystems will disappear, leaving behind only a wasted expanse, devoid of life.


So think again before you order that exclusive sushi or buy that can of tuna, or for that matter, most fish today. Would your rather enjoy your short-lived seafood diet now and soon find it nonexistent, your fishy appetite no longer satiable? Or, would you rather push back from that seafood-heaped plate for a while and ensure a continuous supply of global fish for yourself and your children in the future?

You don’t eat fish, I heard?! Good!





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Oct. 2, 2012 at 5:49 pm
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