Tuna has been much in the news in 2007. The year began with Japan's quota for Atlantic or northern bluefin tuna being reduced by 23 percent from the 2006 level for the next four years and the nation's Pacific or southern bluefin tuna quota slashed by 50 percent for the next five years by the tuna conservation commissions of the two oceans respectively.

This, coupled with the increased popularity of and growing demand everywhere from Vancouver to Moscow to Shanghai for sushi — and maguro in particular — has put pressure on Japan's domestically produced stocks, especially since the country consumes about two-thirds of the annual bluefin catch worldwide. To top it off, the Fish Info Network, part of the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization, has predicted that without enforcement of quotas, wild fisheries will collapse by 2050 worldwide.

Officially, bluefin tuna populations in the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean are "overfished" — "massively" so according to environmental groups such as Greenpeace. The U.S. National Fisheries Service has criticized the European Union for failing to live up to agreements to reduce catch levels, protect spawning stocks and crack down on black marketeering.