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Japanese officials have announced a plan to reduce North Pacific tuna fishing by a whopping 50%:
Japan plans to slash by half the amount of juvenile bluefin tuna taken from the Northern Pacific starting in 2015 compared to the 2002-2004 average, a Fisheries Agency source said Saturday.

The sharp cut may lead to a rise in sashimi prices at supermarkets and restaurants, but the agency places a high priority on protecting bluefin tuna amid concern about declining stocks.

The move is also aimed at encouraging other nations to adopt massive cuts.

Love bluefin tuna, but looking for alternatives? Tips from Seafood Watch:
Tuna are the Olympians of the sea—fast, efficient swimmers able to reach speeds of 50 miles an hour and cross ocean basins. These magnificent animals are also tasty and bluefin tuna belly is prized by sushi eaters around the world for its rich flavor and texture. Sadly, our appetite for this delicacy has led to high prices, overfishing and the near collapse of bluefin populations worldwide.

What You Can Do:

Avoid ordering bluefin tuna.

Try albacore tuna (shiro maguro) instead; it tastes similar and is a "Best Choice" when troll caught in the Pacific by US or Canadian fishermen.

Let your chef know that you prefer sustainable seafood.

Seafood Watch also has a handy pocket guide and smartphone app that you can use on the go to make sustainable choices. It's available here.

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Comment Preferences

  •  shrimp prices are now $15-50 pound /nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    atana, Mannie

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 01:12:07 PM PDT

    •  If you live on the east coast near SC, .... (2+ / 0-)

      the commercial shrimp trawling season will open in South Carolina state waters within the General Trawl Zone (GTZ) usually at the beginning of May.  This date is set by just how warm or cool the Spring weather has been as a cool Spring produces a smaller shrimp population, and that's why they open more toward may as opposed to some years opening in mid April.  

      Right now if you are eating SC wild caught shrimp, you are getting frozen shrimp from last season.  I learned this from shrimp boat operators in Georgetown SC, and McClellanville SC where I purchase my shrimp directly off the boats when they come in to dock and unload from being out.  

      “My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, and I intend to end up there." - Rumi

      by LamontCranston on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:09:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Since the middleman for most American sushi (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simplify

    is the Unification Church of Sun-Myung Moon, I wouldn't touch the stuff even if I weren't vegetarian.

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 01:12:49 PM PDT

  •  I Have to Wonder What Fraction of Sushi Fish (6+ / 0-)

    are truly sustainable, other than pacific salmon.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 01:21:55 PM PDT

    •  probably none of them (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Thinking Fella

      Too many people eating too much of everything.

      Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

      by Visceral on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 02:11:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  mackerel (0+ / 0-)

      but for how long will that last, I wonder.

      "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

      by limpidglass on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:01:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  very few, farm salmon are even a big problem (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus

      for the wild strains and are contributing to the ever increasing gauntlet the salmon have to traverse to get to safe reliable spawning grounds.

      Even the farm raised salmon form a concentration of disease and parasite fog along the migration routes.

      The salmon gather offshore on most rivers until the coastal sandbars are breached by fall storms. The baby fry escape at the same time the adults swim in. And they get netted, hooked, gaffed, snagged, trolled, eaten by seals and sharks and fish traps for native allotments such as on the Klamath, where the tribes carefully count and wrangle their tribal and family allottments every year.

      It is a miracle any survive..and then there are the watersheds filled with gravel and dirt from rockslides from the still shifting damaged forest lands from 175 years of mostly unregulated timber harvest and now marijuana growers and all manner of poisons and fertilizers...and the usual legal industrial activities...and now the hydro and impound dams...and the low water from overdrafting and over use...etcetcetc.....other than that, no biggie.

      This machine kills Fascists.

      by KenBee on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:06:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  the farm raised stuff. (0+ / 0-)

      salmon, for instance.

    •  Wild Salmon from Alaska fisheries, (3+ / 0-)

      one of the best-supervised fisheries in the world, is sustainable. You can also get black cod or sablefish and halibut and other flounder/flatfish that are wild-caught in Alaska waters.

      •  Real salmon! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stitchingasfastasIcan

        I'm a recreational angler, and enjoy fresh fish. I never liked salmon until I met my husband, who introduced me to wild salmon (he's from Seattle).

        Atlantic salmon is not a true salmon, I've been told. It certainly doesn't taste as good as wild King! It doesn't return to freshwater to spawn, and lives after spawning. It also takes a lot of fishmeal, and as I understand it, the sardine stocks are low this year. The fish meal also creates pollution in the pens. Don't get me started on GMO salmon!

        Another thing: it seems like shrimp prices have gone up in the last few years.

        One more thing: we recently moved from Kailua-Kona, HI. When we moved there, we thought we'd find less expensive ono and ahi. Not at all! Your best bet was looking for someone selling their recreational catch out of the back of their truck. Lucky to get fresh fish at $9-10 per lb.

    •  Mmmm (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joe Jackson, thanatokephaloides

      Salmon nigiri is one of my favorites.

      To be first in the soil, which erupts in the coil, of trees veins and grasses all brought to a boil. -- The Maxx

      by notrouble on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:48:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Veggie sushi! At least until (4+ / 0-)

    those Alligator Pears become endangered. ;)

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 01:26:16 PM PDT

    •  Yep! My thoughts, too! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jack of Slack, Lily O Lady

      Over fishing of all types of fish has led to algae blooms that ferment and erupt giving off clouds of methane gas.
      Cattle production causes more greenhouse gas formation than automobiles.
      Swine lagoons dump tons of hog waste into our rivers and water supplies every year, killing fresh water fish and polluting drinking water sources.

      Want to slow down or turn around global warming?
      Stop eating fish and red meat.  Eat more plant based foods (which absorb carbon dioxide instead of making more CO2 and methane, and which are in fact more healthy -except GMOs - than animal based foods).

      It really is a very small change to make that would yield huge results. But the vast majority of people react like tobacco addicts being asked to give up smoking when you suggest they eat less red meat (not even talking about going full veggie).  

      Oh. And having fewer kids would also help a lot. Forget "go forth and multiply". Mankind has been there, done that! Now we are overpopulating our planet at a rate that will cause mass starvation and plagues (if global warming doesn't kill us all first) unless we start going negative on population growth. It's just like an aquarium full of mice reaches a tipping point where the population turns on itself and then crashes.    

      Until people are willing to accept making some changes in their lives (instead of insisting that everyone else give up something while they just keep on doing whatever they want) climate devastation will continue to increase in a cascade effect ever increasing rate.  

      Sometimes we need to walk the walk, and not just talk the talk, or nothing gets done.

      (Personal note: I went full veggie about 20 years ago. Don't miss eating meat at all. In fact, the longer I go without eating meat, the less appetizing it becomes to me. Most of the true flavor in food comes from plant-based sources. That's why people tend to cover up their meat with all kinds of other sauces and stuff. I haven't been able to go completely vegan though - still eat sheep's milk cheese and occasionally make cheese pastries.

      Oh. And I bought a Nissan Leaf a while back - 100 percent pluggable electric car. Replaced my old Heat Pump with a newer more efficient model. And I recycle as much as I can.  I know it isn't the whole solution, but if we each do the things we can do, it will make a big difference overall)
       

      •  Likewise! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bethann, Lily O Lady

        Kudos to you! I quit all meat in 1983, never missed it. All it came down to was a minor change in habits. Big deal! Once I made new habits they quickly became second nature. Seems crazy to me that people get so incredibly affronted by the idea.

        When I can afford a new car, I will also buy electric--but not Japanese. I plan to take a photo of myself with my new car and send it to every Japanese manufacturer with a note explaining that I will be happy to do business with them once the Japanese whaling and Taji dolphin atrocities are discontinued.

  •  Name of my favorite Sushi place? (0+ / 0-)

    "Bluefin".

    Ah well.

    1. Books are for use.

    by looty on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 01:28:11 PM PDT

  •  So what if the price goes up? Seafood is only (8+ / 0-)

    supposed to be for the rich, anyway.

    Jon Stewart: Why Is Fox News So Obsessed With Poor People Eating Seafood?

    We have been over fishing the oceans for decades. I remember when red snapper was the most popular fish sold in Florida restaurants. You can't even find it anymore. It was replaced by yellow-tail. Now that has been replaced by tilapia. Tilapia isn't even a Florida fish. Grouper, which was rarely served on menus (locals knew about it), is now becoming less and less available. They have even started inventing new names for fish (like "silver snapper" for "porgies") to make them appear more appetizing on menus. "Jumbo" shrimp are half the size they used to be at ten times the price. Sardines, herring, abalone, conch, cod, crabs--the list is endless--are all declining rapidly.

    No wonder the wealthy want to claim seafood as their exclusive right. The poor are apparently eating us out of house and home.

    Seriously though, there is an elephant in the room here that NOBODY wants to talk about: Overpopulation.

    "I guess you think you can psych me out by saying really random stuff." -Sora, Hollow Bastion, KH2

    by SphericalXS on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 01:42:43 PM PDT

    •  irony that seafood used to be poor people's food (4+ / 0-)

      In places where salmon was available, contracts used to specify that employers couldn't serve their workers salmon more than three times a week.  In New England, people would bury crab and lobster shells in the garden at night so their neighbors wouldn't gossip about how poor they must be to settle for shellfish.  In London, eels and oysters were comparably cheap.

      Everyone who could afford it ate beef and chicken, now the cheapest of meats.

      Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

      by Visceral on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 02:19:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Tilapia Is Typically Farmed (5+ / 0-)

      Typically in Asia and central America and imported from what I've seen.

      I would guess that if farmed in the US and reasonably regulated it would be a good fish to consume. It's a plant grazer not a predator like salmon and so many other fish, so much more energy efficient per calorie delivered to the table, and less prone to concentrating some contaminants like mercury. Plus it's pretty tasty.

      Rainbow trout farmed in USA gets a big recommend from the seafood watch folks. There's one farm in central Ohio I've found, which supplies local groceries here in N ohio. We eat it a couple times a month if we can find it on sale.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 02:32:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Most Americans don't eat much BF tuna (6+ / 0-)

    at the sushi bar, unless they are seriously wealthy. Most of tuna at sushi bars here is yellowfin ("maguro" or "Ahi").

    I used to eat at sushi bars every week, sometimes twice a week, when I was working in Silicon Valley, but I've only had BF tuna ("toro") a handful of times in my life. And although it was good, I didn't think it was better than yellowtail tuna ("hamachi"), which is much cheaper.

    Perhaps the BF tuna at top restaurants in Japan is transcendentally better than what we get, but the US doesn't eat a lot of BF tuna. It is mainly a sport fishery here, and game fishers sell their catch to buyers at the dock, who in turn sell it to sushi bars.

    American Presidents: 43 men, 0 women. Ready for Hillary

    by atana on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 01:44:53 PM PDT

  •  is troll catching a sustainable method, even... (0+ / 0-)
    Try albacore tuna (shiro maguro) instead; it tastes similar and is a "Best Choice" when troll caught in the Pacific by US or Canadian fishermen.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 01:53:47 PM PDT

  •  Our sashimi is generally not from bluefin tuna (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquarius40, atana, Mannie, Thinking Fella

    Americans can't afford it. We eat big eye tuna and yellowfin. Albacore is white tuna, which has a drier mouthfeel.

    Bluefin tuna caught off of North Carolina is sold to Japan.

    “Industry does everything they can and gets away with it almost all the time, whether it’s the coal industry, not the subject of this hearing, or water or whatever. They will cut corners, and they will get away with it. " Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D, WVa

    by FishOutofWater on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 02:05:37 PM PDT

  •  given the amount of mercury in tuna (8+ / 0-)

    and the likely future presence of cesium, as the fukushima fallout works its way up the food chain over time), limiting one's tuna intake probably isn't a bad idea anyways, before you even get to the issue of fishery sustainability.

    i am going to be seriously bummed when pacific salmon eventually ends up on these sorts of announcements. giuven ocean acidification, it's a pretty good bet that it will.

    •  Fukushima is the reason you shouldn't eat (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stitchingasfastasIcan

      ANYTHING caught in the Pacific.  The amount of radioactive material leaking into the groundwater and making its way to the Pacific is far greater than what our useless MSM are telling us!

      •  while i agree with the last sentence (0+ / 0-)

        the actual amounts of radiation by region of the pacific and species, and the manner in which they bioaccumulate in differential patterns, matters a lot. not everything in the ocean is equally radioactive.

        that being said, not having a ton of money tends to limit my seafood intake a great deal anyway.

  •  Who needs Sushi? (4+ / 0-)

    All you need is wasabi, soy sauce, ginger, vinegar, and nori.

    Makes all food taste great!

  •  Good (0+ / 0-)

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 02:23:17 PM PDT

  •  Now if only they could cut back on hunting wales.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie

    ...but then again, it's FOR SCIENCE amiright?

  •  let's see...Tuna: check, Eels: check (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock

    there must be a few hundred other species being extincted or already gone for Sushi and Hard-Ons™

    Shark Fins...and?....

    the Eels they import the bay glass eels as the enter the rivers after hatching in secret unknown parts of the oceans..the parents die, at 30,40,60 80 years old, whenever they feel The Urge and get washed out to see in a big mass in fall rains..and if they don't get chewed up in power plants, sometimes built after they were already in the river above them..and if they don't get dammed in, if they don't get caught in traps and nets and pollution.

    The Japanese buy the glass Eels, sourced from every source possible everywhere, the tiny flat transparent babies that return transparent but shortly after entering freshwater turn to the grey eels shape and form they will have until they to return to the sea to spawn en masse and die.

    The glass Eels sell on the markets for many many hundreds of dollars, $2500, $3500 per POUND!..from every possible source on most continents and islands where the catadromus freshwater/saltwater eels are found in there several species.

    They get shipped carefully back to Japan where they are carefully farm raised until they are 18 months old, they prepared alive..killed on the plate basically.

    The Japanese, not being stupid, know this slaughter can't continue, freshwater Eels have been sourced and decimated  to scarcity all around the world. They can't get them to reliably spawn and hatch eggs on the farm so they and the hydro and the pollution continue to decimate the returning baby Glass Eels so they are on the verge of official endangered status!!
      The Japanese are closer to artificially raising eels, but not yet, and nobody else is spending the kind of money to get that done.

    For Hard-Ons™

    This machine kills Fascists.

    by KenBee on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 02:57:43 PM PDT

  •  Good. nt (0+ / 0-)

    The dossier on my DKos activities during the Bush administration will be presented on February 3, 2014, with an appendix consisting an adjudication, dated "a long time ago", that I am Wrong.

    by Inland on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:10:06 PM PDT

  •  We face a future of very expensive fish - if (0+ / 0-)

    it even remains available.

    Unless overfishing is controlled, many of the world's fisheries will crash and not recover for a very long time.

    Human population growth along with the rising consumption of fish, coupled with the typical corporate greed has resulted in stripmining of many fisheries.

    End of the Line is worth watching - available on Netflix.

    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. - George Orwell, 1984

    by Ammo Hauler on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:40:54 PM PDT

  •  There are always vegetarian choices (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dclawyer06

    at the sushi bar.  Seaweed salad, edamame, various concoctions with mango, avocado, etc.  

    I've stopped eating tuna because of the heavy metal contamination found in large fish.

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 04:04:04 PM PDT

  •  Now that is a bad ass bowl of chirashi... (0+ / 0-)

    And I know, cause my chirashi is thrilling.

    But, wrt prices, doesn't the late Rev. Moon's company dominate the US market for sashimi grade fish?

  •  The Japanese asks for us to limit our tuna (0+ / 0-)

    consumption but will continue to butcher dolphins & whales?

  •  Time to look into (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stitchingasfastasIcan

    Asian Carp.  

    I live next to a creek that feeds the Missouri River.  I have about a zillion invasive Asian carp I'd love to sell you.

    Hell, just show up and you can have them all for free!

  •  Whose Sushi? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jack of Slack

    --
    Of course, there is always the option of not eating the fish.  

    Tuna has the right to live out its life...

    You?
    --

  •  No thanks. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jack of Slack

    I wouldn't touch this stuff at any price.  Gag.

  •  Don't worry... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stitchingasfastasIcan

    The republicans will figure out how to pin it on Obama.

  •  Just say no to seafood, period. (0+ / 0-)

    Tuna aren't the only mass casualties of human overexploitation. Factory ships with horrendous bycatch levels, discarded and lost nets that drown turtles and marine mamals, disenfranchisement of traditional native fishermen--the fishing industry is trashing the ocean.

  •  Heck, try farmed trout, smoked! (0+ / 0-)

    It's sustainable and tastes remarkably like smoked salmon.

  •  Substitute? Not. (0+ / 0-)

    People who think you can substitute one fish for another don't understand sushi at all.

    N.B.: Especially whoever these "Seafood Watch" yo-yos are who suggested Albacore in place of Bluefin, when Yellowfin or Bigeye would have been much closer.  And that's just for the akami. There is likely no substitute for Bluefin o-toro that anyone would consider even in the same ballpark.

    Yes, good Bluefin it's an exceptional culinary experience, but sushi eaters, and especially the Japanese, have come to be snobbish about it and to take it for granted that Bluefin will be available, and fishermen, wholesalers, and restaurants are all too willing to take advantage of that irrational demand inflation and the premium profits it supplies to them.

    Point is, people will just have to learn to un-demand Bluefin, and go eat something else instead, and not consider it a substitution, but a loss, caused by excess and negligence.

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