• Hirakata, Osaka


the Dec. 19 article “Singing the bluefin tuna blues“: Most of the blame has been heaped on Japan, which reportedly consumes about three-quarters of the world’s bluefin. But could that just be the truth according to Greenpeace? I think it’s closer to the truth to say that the global spread of healthy Japanese cuisine as well as exploding consumption in China and Russia are also helping to drive the species toward extinction.

I’ve lived in Europe for more than 35 years. In Paris or New York, you can’t imagine the number of so-called sushi bars and the quantity of tuna fish consumed (a single sushi dish composed of six salmon and six tuna!). In Japan, people don’t eat sushi in this way; they eat smaller portions of a few different kinds of fish with vinegared rice. This is also how the Japanese eat in general.

I agree that if the current situation continues as is, tuna will disappear from the seas. Governments must bring in much tougher regulations, condemn net fishing, prohibit catches of immature fish, regulate periods of fishing, etc. Not only for the sake of Japan but for all countries.

A fisherman in the article is quoted as saying: “We can’t do much damage with single lines. This is the only way that tuna fishing can be sustainable. We catch one at a time.” He’s right. We used to live this way. So we should change from the ground up — with respect to not only tuna but other foods and needs. Otherwise, not only Japan, but the whole world will perish.

mariko aoyama

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