Why Are New York City Restaurants Still Serving Bluefin Tuna?

bluefin fossil.jpg
Soon a fossil is all we'll have left.

The New York Times posted a great editorial this past Sunday about how something must be done to alleviate the plight of bluefin tuna, which have dwindled by 60 percent in the past decade, and how special hooks might help fishing boats in the Gulf of Mexico from inadvertently catching them. Well, here's another way. Maybe New York City restaurants should simply stop serving bluefin.

A recent search on Menupages reveals that 14 restaurants still serve the endangered fish. New York City has thousands of restaurants, so this is a good number, but why not have the number be zero? Yes, it's possible that some of these tuna dishes might be made with farm-raised bluefins, but breeding the fish in captivity is also somewhat problematic since the fish are born to migrate and are very active. Why can't restaurants take a pause from serving bluefin? That seemed to work a few years back with Chilean sea bass. Although maybe that won't hold, either. Another search on Menupages shows that nearly 400 restaurants are serving the humble swimmer also known as Patagonian toothfish.

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The "Give Swordfish a Break" campaign is largely credited with allowing swordfish to rebound. (Although fishermen will tell you "we're still only catching pups.") The fact is we really must take seriously the job of balancing ocean conservation with our appetites and the needs of fishing communities. We must diversify the businesses in our fishing communities, change gear, clean up/green up our menus and we must act now. Thank you for this. I'm in the 5th year of sustainable seafood education called Teach a Man to Fish/Teach a Chef to Fish. People are hungry for help making the right decisions.



LDGourmet, your ignorance is baffling!

The "Give Swordfish a Break" campaign actually had absolutely nothing to do with the recovery of Swordfish. Swordfish stocks rebounded because a management plan implemented by NOAA an U.S. fishermen. The Give Swordfish a Break plan was a misguided effort that did little other than hurt commercial fishermen.

And if you ever got out of the kitchen and visited a fish market, you would know that the U.S. fishermen are now catching very large Swordfish. It's shocking that you are trying to educate others about something you obviously know nothing about...