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For those of you who missed the Sept. 7th 60 minutes report on illegal use of spotter planes and breaking commercial QUOTA fishing laws just to rape the bluefin tuna SEE BELOW LINK AND AT BOTTOM OF THIS POST IS A VIDEO, and yes I did keep my limit of one giant bft pictured on left but i throw most fish back, no reason to keep more than you can eat now if these sushi cowboys would do the same there would be plenty of fish for everyone in my opinion and I can't help but have a little Tred Barta rant SEE BOTTOM FOR MORE bft RELATED LINKS TO THIS TOPIC AND MAKE UP YOUR OWN MIND AND FEEL FREE TO TAKE ACTION WITH YOUR LOCAL REPRESENTATIVES:
They overfish so much they take the below average grade BFT freeze it at 75 degrees below WHICH ALL US FISHERMAN KNOW DON'T HELP THE TASTE and sell to very low end sushi restaurants further dessimating the BFT population, the japanese have 60,000 tons or 1.2 MILLION POUNDS OF OUR BELOVED SPORTFISH of BFT in a freezer stockpiled THAT THEY WON'T EAT THEMSELVES BUT SEND AROUND THE WORLD AND THAT'S AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN DRESSED, they aren't even selling these to regular 4 or 5 star sushi restaurants BUT CHEAP LOW END RESTAURANTS its the COMPLETE COMMERCIALIZATION AND RAPE OF A SPECIES FOR SOMEONE'S MOUTH. I have plenty of Japanese freinds and this isn't just a problem there, but the governments who allow need to step up to the plate and address this problem JAPAN "IMPORTS" FROM THE OCEAN 500,000 TONS OF TUNA ON A YEARLY BASIS.
This story is SO pathetic because fish are being stockpiled like commodities for future reserve like currency.
An utterly grotesque and savage way to treat these magnificent creatures
The real problem in my opinion is the purse seigning with illegal spotter planes and breaking the quota laws dessimating the bluefin tuna for our future generations, the italians have fished with nets for thousands of years but the japanese sushi market demand is the problem.
Sept. 4, 2008, cbs, EXCERPT SEE LINK FOR WHOLE STORY ABOVE-60 minutes below.
Sushi is becoming so popular these days, you can find it in grocery stores all over America. But it's distinctly Japanese, and the Japanese which is 90% of the bft market have turned sushi into a multibillion-dollar international business.
Sushi wouldn't be sushi without tuna, particularly bluefin tuna. It is so revered in Japan that they call it the" king of sushi."
But as correspondent Bob Simon reported last January, the bluefin is in deep trouble.
Fresh bluefin tuna arrives in style at Tokyo's Narita airport every day, from all over the world. They are carefully packed in crates and unloaded onto palettes often less than 24 hours after being caught.
It's delivered on ice, in custom-made wooden boxes called "coffins," to the Tokyo fish market, which is called Tsukiji. It's the place where the world's top sushi chefs get their fish.
More fish flow through Tsukiji than any other market on earth. More money, too: $4 billion a year. In today's global economy, fishermen from around the world watch the prices set at Tsukiji, which enables them to figure out what their catch is worth.
Harvard anthropology professor Ted Bestor understands the movement of money and tuna. He's been studying Japanese sushi culture for the last 20 years. "This place is the nerve center of a global fishing industry," he explains.
"Sort of like a Wall Street of fish," Simon remarks.
"Yeah. It is. It is," Bestor agrees. "There's no futures market, no derivatives. But other than that, it's like the Wall Street of fish."
At four o'clock every morning, six days a week, the buyers arrive at the market's fresh tuna hall to check out what's on offer.
How do buyers tell what's good and not so good?
"Well, if you look over you can see them rolling the tuna over on their side, looking in the belly. They're looking for the fat content. They're looking for the color of the meat. They're x-raying the fish and then you'll see that they?ll take a little piece and they'll rub it between their thumb and forefingers. And that's to get a sense of the oil content," Bestor explains.
The average price of a single bluefin tuna is anywhere between $2,000 and $20,000. It all depends on the size, the season, and their fat content - the fattier, the better.
Japanese buyers from Mitsubishi - the large industrial conglomerate best known in the U.S. for their cars - are one of the largest buyers of bluefin tuna.
In the 1990's a new vessel started fishing for tuna in the Mediterranean. It was called a "purse seiner" and it brought on a revolution in tuna fishing. Each of the vessels could encircle and trap some 3,000 bluefin in one go.
Before long, there were more 300 purse seiners working there and the new method proved so efficient that it made the mattanza look like some old relic left over from the Middle Ages.
It is high-tech fishing on an industrial scale. The purse seiners prowl the Mediterranean's spawning grounds, waiting for word from ILLEGAL spotter planes that are patrolling overhead. When schools of bluefin come to the surface, the planes relay the coordinates to the purse seiners, who then rush to encircle them.
Ninety percent of them will go to Japan, which imports as much tuna as it can - any tuna, some half a million tons a year. Most of the tuna is blast frozen on board ships, which arrive in Japanese ports everyday.
They are stored in giant freezer rooms at a bone-chilling minus 75 degrees Fahrenheit. At any given time, there are over 60,000 tons of frozen tuna stockpiled in what some call Japan's strategic reserve.
Freezing tuna at such low temperatures has transformed what was once a fresh delicacy into a commodity, with virtually no expiration date.
The king of sushi is no longer treated like royalty. It is scraped and planed and then cut up into blocks. This tuna will make its way to supermarkets and thousands of low-end sushi restaurants, where you can eat a piece of bluefin for as little as 50 cents. The industry's ability to supply the global market with inexpensive sushi has stoked demand, and that has created a Mediterranean gold rush.
These days, Roberto Mielgo spends his time tracking fishing boats and monitoring catches. And he's found that the international quotas which limit tuna fishing are not being enforced. And those spotter planes? They?re officially banned, but are still hunting tuna. Illegal fishing is rampant.
"And if this trend continues?" Simon asks.
"All I can say, is that if we carry on like this, we are bound to catastrophe. I mean, it's as simple as that. No more fish. No more industry. No more culture," Mielgo predicts.
When Simon and the team filmed the mattanza VIDEO SEE BELOW LINK, it seemed like the fisherman had made an enormous catch, but the fishermen insisted that they are catching fewer fish and smaller fish than in previous years. And the situation is so bad, they say, that they don't know how long they'll be able to stay in business because of the law breaking purse seiners.
This post edited by CARDINALS 09:43 PM 09/07/2008