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Pacific bluefin tuna edges toward extinction

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And the news once again will be largely ignored by the country that consumes 80% of bluefin tuna.

4 ( +17 / -14 )

There is next to zero awareness among consumers here. fair trade, mercury, sustainable fish sources etc etc.

0 ( +12 / -12 )

What's the average salaryman at your local izakaya going to say?

"Datte it's part of our culture jyan"

Tragic state of affairs this.

-1 ( +9 / -11 )

The Pacific bluefin tuna, a fish used in sushi and sashimi dishes, is at risk of extinction

Are you proud of yourselves "environmentally friendly " Japan?

-4 ( +14 / -20 )

OK, so maybe when I go eat sushi, I avoid those on the endangered list, tell the people at the shop about it and tell people around me. I feel that when people here start to find out about things like this, they do respond. It may take a while but in this way, maybe we can be part of a grass roots effort to do something right.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

I heard there is some artificial tuna being served/sold nowadays, anyone have more info about that? Anyone tried that?

Perhaps that would be a good replacement for now and then perhaps the normal bluefin tuna can increase in numbers again.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

sighclops. Maybe the next generation of Japanese will say "That WAS part of our culture. ざんねんね"

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Shouldn't the headline read "Japan's regulators and consumers push pacific bluefin tuna to the edge of extinction"?

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Hopefully TPP can rectify this problem by flooding the Japanese market with cheap beef. Japanese should start eating beef instead of tuna. Could be cheaper & definitely more sustainable.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

@CoconutE3

Off course the TPP will flood the market with a unsafe, full of toxin and chemicals cheap beef and the Japanese will turn into obesity nation like on the other side of the ocean. Just because something is cheap it doesnt mean its good for you to eat.

-4 ( +12 / -15 )

This has been news for nearly twenty years, but nothing has changed. Even if blue fin tuna fishing was stopped altogether it is likely the population would still crash and go into extinction because it has been so badly decimated their numbers are insufficient to recover. And, it's not just the bluefin tuna. Many tuna species are in trouble due to overfishing. The gene pool of the the species are getting weaker and fish are getting smaller due to the big healthy fish being taken out of the gene pool. Many of the Japanese I know eat tuna at least three or four times a week. I've asked many if they were concerned about the fish becoming extinct and the general answer is always the same, "Eat it while you can!"

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Japan knows no end when it comes to destroying the world's oceans.

It won't be happy until the last tuna, dolphin, whale and all other marine "resources" have been plucked from the ocean.

-1 ( +11 / -12 )

Japan is unique place. They want to pretend they are saving the environment yet have no concern for their destruction of fish life.

1 ( +10 / -10 )

It is a fact that proper regulations are currently in place to protect the existing stock but not everyone plays by the rule. So unfortunately without intergovernmental cooperation and enforcement of responsible fishing policy it is impossible to stop the exploitation and reduce harvest to responsible levels. Therefore this will not happen before it is too late..

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@HM7769

Japan knows no end when it comes to destroying the world's oceans. It won't be happy until the last tuna, dolphin, whale and all other marine "resources" have been plucked from the ocean.

Surely you mean China?

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

@papigiulio

"I heard there is some artificial tuna being served/sold nowadays, anyone have more info about that? Anyone tried that?"

Not "artificial" tuna, but farm-raised tuna done by Kinki University. I haven't tried it, but they have some of their own restaurants that serve it and it is available elsewhere as well, <> http://www.flku.jp/english/aquaculture/tuna/

4 ( +5 / -1 )

pointofview, I don't know where you are from, but it is probably a glass house. Environmental destruction is everywhere - it's not unique to any country.

The fact is that we humans have outgrown our world, at least we have if we continue living the same way. These problems require international cooperation to a degree that has never existed in history. It's not Japan. All societies on the planet need to step up their game. Sadly, no sign of that happening soon.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Less "edges towards" and more "is pushed towards".

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It won't be happy until the last tuna, dolphin, whale and all other marine "resources" have been plucked from the ocean.

Whatever makes you think that Japan would be happy if all marine resources disappeared from the ocean? What do you see as their motivation for wanting this? For what reasons would they want to meet this goal?

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Let them go extinct! That is the only way we will learn to understand that letting animals go extinct means. But then, maybe not....

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

err... Japan and most Japanese are very well aware of this. Japan has developed the world first Tuna growing facilities that will reduce the stress to the wild life tuna.

Japanese people are aware of the eel (unagi) and tuna engendering and it has begun already to change their habits (of course is not something you reach by overnight).

The same as Japan did (and still does) with the whaling, despite what most people tend to think. (more whale are directly of indirectly killed by submarines and guess which countries have more submarines going around the world oceans)

so please, avoid your self righteousness and "Japan eat tuna, eel and whale gaaah" when you eat tuna too. The consumption of some foods in other countries (let say bacon) is also very prejudicial to the environment too. Some thing people eat in other countries may be also perceived as disgusting or barbaric by other people, but you wouldn't like to be treated with the world and comments that some people write here, do you?

6 ( +14 / -9 )

I think we will hear things like.... It's our culture to eat tuna!!! It's fundamental to out traditional dishes!

Thus Japanese will ignore, or find loopholes to catch them anyway!

I love my sashimi, true. However I am willing to give it up to save the species.

-8 ( +2 / -11 )

@Daniel

err... Japan and most Japanese are very well aware of this.

Glad someone said this.

@ifd66

There is next to zero awareness among consumers here.

If you can't afford a TV, or don't know how to turn it on, perhaps a friendly neighbour can let you watch the news sometimes. Or maybe borrow a newspaper?

@jerseyboy

Are you proud of yourselves "environmentally friendly " Japan?

Aren't you from the US? Ever heard of Agent Orange?

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Are you proud of yourselves "environmentally friendly " Japan?

Jerseyboy, have you ever noticed Japan is not one solid mass moving in unison? There's great diversity of thought and opinions on all topics including food and environmental issues.

3 ( +6 / -4 )

And the news once again will be largely ignored by the country that consumes 80% of bluefin tuna.

Yep, right till the point where they realise, oops we've eaten it all, there's none left. No doubt at point they will blame the Chinese for poaching tuna, lol

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

I was always taught that Japan is a country where "consensus" and what is good for the whole society is regarded as a noble trait but the reality is that the average Japanese consumer of Bluefin Tuna does not care if that species goes extinct. They will switch to another fish species until that one goes extinct too and so on.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

1st paragraph.

The Pacific bluefin tuna, a fish used in sushi and sashimi dishes, is at risk of extinction as the global food market places unsustainable pressure on the species and others,

Bold emphasis is mine.

Also not sure who can afford to eat Tuna Sushi/Sashimi 3-4times a week, not your average family/income for sure. Most of the people I know can't even afford it once a week.

Also is that 80% of pacific blefin tuna consumed or sold/traded? Pity that all the other species and countries mentioned in the article are 100% ignored by posters, ....

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I could of swore I read an article on this site couple of months ago where Japan took the lead in halving the quota for Pacific Bluefin tuna (30kg under) and not to exceed the 2002-04 level of over 30 kg.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

People forget that Japan us NOT the only nation catching bluefin tuna.

Yes, japan has set the quota, so far no reports that they have violated it.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Yes, japan has set the quota, so far no reports that they have violated it.

That's my point. The quota was set a couple months ago (WCPFC) which is prior to this IUCN report(although it basically uses the same set of materials, reports).

It's basically following the Atlantic Bluefin model where it was on a verge of extinction but recovered to where they will increase the quota in 2015.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Nigelboy.

Sorry, I misread your post. :(

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Daniel Neagari: "Some thing people eat in other countries may be also perceived as disgusting or barbaric by other people, but you wouldn't like to be treated with the world and comments that some people write here, do you?"

This isn't about barbaric practices, Daniel, it's about numbers. So what are you going on about? Do you deny that ONE SINGLE country, Japan, consumes more than 80% of the world's bluefin tuna? And if Japan "knows about this", why has it been a problem, unchanged, for more than 20 years? Yeah, many Japanese know about it, and their response is "all non-Japanese should stop eating it so we have more -- it is our tradition", forgetting about the fact that they are taking a whole lot of it from the Mediterranean Sea and elsewhere.

It"s ME: "People forget that Japan us NOT the only nation catching bluefin tuna."

And you forget, or just choose to ignore, that those fish are exported to Japan and are caught due to demand here. Oops!

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Japan may not consume all the Pacific Bluefin tuna being fished to extinction but who introduced/turned on the rest of the world to sushi/sashimi? It was Japanese culinary entrepreneurs so they are still to blame.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Hawkeye.

You mean like Chinese and Koreans who run most Japanese restaurants outside Japan? I am sure Natto will be the next Japanese culinary fad introduced by those entrepeneurs. :P

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Yes, like everything it is all Japan's fault. Probably getting worse because of Abenomics. And because Japan are culturally required to eat tons of tuna every year. Yasukuni. Geriatrics. amakudari. you know, all the usual suspects.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I see that nobody seems to give a s**t about that Chinese cobra

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Smithinjapan.

Glad you can tell by whom the tuna in the super was caught and if it was over or under the size quota. Besides your standard anti-japanese attitude I don't see your point. Korea, USA & China got a growing Sushi industry and also consume more and more. Surprisingly glioal bluefin tuna consumption/demand has increased dramatically over the last 20yrs yet the 80% consumption rate of Japan never changed.

You are also aware for sure that much of the sushi/sashimi tuna sold in Japan is now yellow fin and not blue fin.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

well , we'll see how the world is really committed about "Saving the Environment" Japanese are not the only consumers of Sushi and blue fin tuna, will the whole world ready to give up eating Maguro sashimi and sushi?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It"S MENOV. 18, 2014 - 02:49PM JST Hawkeye. You mean like Chinese and Koreans who run most Japanese restaurants outside Japan

I think you are joking, but here is some info about who is promoting it:

http://www.travellingtojapan.com/cool-japan-fund-promotes-sushi-japanese-cuisines/2156/

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

have to eat as much as possible before its all gone...

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

I for one am not going to stop eating Blue Fin Otoro.

In actuality, when you see what Tuna they serve in America, they get the crud and send the good stuff over here.

Konban otoro zettai!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Smith... as far as I know no one has ever said

"all non-Japanese should stop eating it so we have more -- it is our tradition" (and that includes whale meat).

If you urge to think that way, I would say you have some psychopathic issues (hope I am wrong).

Yes Japan consumes the 80% of the blue fin tuna (and also around the same volume for eel), but most Japanese are aware of this. Even if they are not, the average Japanese person is not able to eat tuna (blue fin tuna) every day... if we can eat it twice a month and that is saying much.

We are concerned and that is way new farming techniques has being developed (again like 3 years ago) and slowly those are being implemented. And, I am not sure if that 80% is conformed solely by Japanese people... since you know... sushi and sashimi using tuna is being consumed by other countries people that come to Japan and eat it here...

4 ( +6 / -2 )

It may be the Japanese mostly behind dwindling tuna, especially bluefin tuna, but everyone gets to share the responsibility for the rest of the fish. The prediction is that there will be no more fish of any kind by 2050. Except jellyfish - there will be lots and lots of jellyfish, so get your recipes ready.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn10433-no-more-seafood-by-2050.html

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The problem with farming bluefin is that they're pretty high on the food chain. They eat other fish and eat a lot of it, so you end up putting a strain on those other fish populations.

I'm willing to give it up, and an all out ban for a couple years here might help them recover. Yeah, yeah the Japanese aren't the only one to blame, but they're in a great position to set an example. It might hurt the livelihoods of fishermen, but they're screwed if they go extinct anyway.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

About the only factor that can change the way of the locals is nature.

Pride equal to the Russians. Well politics we had last week.

Nature knows no money. When will it be understood....

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I do have to apologize, in my former post i quoted part of the post of SmithinJapan... but erroneously i attached in that quote a comment of mine, that is the sentence inside the parenthesis

So the correct quote form smithinjapan is

"all non-Japanese should stop eating it so we have more -- it is our tradition"

so.. again my apologies

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Of course i am joking that japanese sushi restaurants outside Japan are responsible for the demise of a delicacy like Bluefin tuna which is a shame but the real reason for so many animal and plant species becoming extinct is due to overpopulation plain and simple. It doesn't make any sense to try to pack ten pounds/kilos of poop in a five pound/kilo bag without expecting drastic consequences. The earth cannot sustain 7 billion wasteful and selfish people. Nature will rebound just like it will create deadly viruses to wipe out humanity. A 100, 000 years from now humans won't exist and the last two bluefin tuna will be like adam and eve and take over the oceans until they overpopulate it and another dominant species starts the chain reaction all over again.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

cue dramatic sounds.... meanwhile gonna get some toro for dinner today

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

whats eastasian professor? I think some English is required to comment on an English language publication. I always sleep well and dream of more tuna

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

We had this news just 2 months ago, didn't we?

"Key Pacific panel agrees to 50% cut in young bluefin tuna catch" http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/key-pacific-panel-agrees-to-50-cut-in-young-tuna-catch

MrBumNov. 18, 2014 - 03:52PM JST

The problem with farming bluefin is that they're pretty high on the food chain. They eat other fish and eat a lot of it, so you end up putting a strain on those other fish populations.

What does that have to do with fish farming? Do farmed tuna eat more than wild tuna?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Soon, we (humans) will be on that list too.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What does that have to do with fish farming? Do farmed tuna eat more than wild tuna?

Actually in a way they do, what those farms do is catch juvenile tuna and they get fed in pens their favourite food to fatten them up.

That food of course is caught by other fishermen.

AFAIK, only the Japanese so far have succeeded to breed Tuna in captivity.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

CH3CHO

What does that have to do with fish farming? Do farmed tuna eat more than wild tuna?

It's kind of like farming crocodiles and feeding them chicken. It's not very efficient economically or ecologically... And you could just eat the chicken.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Extinction all the Maguro!!!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

On the IUCN website is the IUCN news article saying

With today's update, the Pacific Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus orientalis) has moved from the Least Concern category to Vulnerable, which means that it is now threatened with extinction.

The IUCN provides a list of categorizations with some explanation. Categories for those species threatened with extinction are - "critically endangered", "endangered", and "vulnerable". Categories for those species not yet threatened with extinction are "near threatened" and "least concern". Therefore on a scale of 5 places it has jumped 2 places, showing that the claimed change is major, and not just a borderline issue.

However, there is no reference to any specific technical/scientific report documenting the data in support of this finding, nor could I find one anywhere on the IUCN website. However, I could find this:

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is essentially a checklist of taxa that have undergone an extinction risk assessment using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. The majority of assessments appearing on the IUCN Red List are carried out by members of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC), appointed Red List Authorities (RLAs), Red List Partners, or participants of IUCN-led assessment projects. However, assessments can be done by anyone and submitted to IUCN for consideration.

Because neither the source organization nor its report is referenced in the news article, this should not be called a scientific announcement. Science always provides sources with data to back up conclusions. It is disappointing that the IUCN would be so cavalier about its social responsibility to put science first.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

When I broke up with Ann, my mom told me not to worry. There are plenty of other fish in the sea.

It's too bad that Japan ate all the bluefin tuna, but there are plenty of other fish in the sea for them to gobble up and for Jiro to sell at an exorbitant cost!

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Off course the TPP will flood the market with a unsafe, full of toxin and chemicals cheap beef and the Japanese will turn into obesity nation like on the other side of the ocean.

LOL sounds like someone has "drank the KoolAde" provided by the Japanese Beef Association. I was just in Tokyo, Siniestro, and there are a lot of OBESE Japanese there that have nothing to do with the Sumo community. Seems to me Japan is getting obese just fine with it's own protected agriculture, livestock, and marine industries. Don't try and blame it on the West.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

As long as Japan doesn't take this seriously and as the top consumer of the tuna that is endangered it really doesn't mean anything. Japan is going to have to curb its fish consumption before the fishery collapses. Y'know, plan ahead or something

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It"S ME

Kindai had prefected "closed curcuit" farming of bluefins from semitation of eggs 12 years ago. Now they alone ships out about 2,000tonnes worth of tuna.They also provide 42 thousand smal fries or 10 percent of the over-all hachlings to other domestic tuna farms. The numbers are going up each year with a target of hit 50 percent of overall bluefins market by 2020.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

jerseyboyNov. 18, 2014 - 08:22AM JST

Are you proud of yourselves "environmentally friendly " Japan?

Really? Where are you sitting as you type these words? In your home in the US, where you heat up your entire house or apartment to get you throught the cold winter? Do you share (clean) bath water with your family? or use that (clean) bath water to do your laundry?

Now Japan obviously has not reacted quickly enough with regards to sustaining this pacific bluefin tuna, but I highly doubt that you are in any position to criticize their progression for preserving the environment, unless of course you can prove that your environmental footprint is less than the average Japanese citizen.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@SamuraiBlue ... Kindai had prefected "closed curcuit" farming of bluefins from semitation of eggs 12 years ago.

Good point. There is a lot of misinformation out there, probably due to the fact that closed circuit farming has been less profitable than catching wild bluefin juveniles and raising them - a situation which is now changing.

Some links on kindai maguro:

http://www.flku.jp/english/aquaculture/tuna/

http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/science/01/20/eco.bluefin.tuna/index.html

Because of the recently changing economics, more companies/organizations are working on closed circuit farming, and also on providing feed not caught from the ocean:

In Japan, Nissui http://www.undercurrentnews.com/2014/09/01/nissui-closes-life-cycle-bluefin-tuna-farming/

In Europe, Atlantic Bluefin http://www.science20.com/news_articles/toward_sustainable_atlantic_bluefin_tuna_aquaculture-139972

It is very interesting that Kindai is also working on re-populating fish species in the ocean with fry grown on farms.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@jerseyboy Are you proud of yourselves "environmentally friendly " Japan?

As somebody coming from the US, I can't see you being in a position to criticize Japan or any other country for that matter for its environmental friendliness (put in quatation marks by you.)

0 ( +3 / -3 )

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