Sea First Foundation, a SAR member and Belgian-Dutch NGO, has begun a campaign to encourage restaurants and stores to stop selling all species of tuna, with volunteer ambassadors hitting the streets to spread the word.

The endangered Blue fin tuna has long been a poster species for over fishing, and although some consumers are now boycotting the fish, the species as a whole is still in danger. Other commercially exploited tuna species are already being heavily fished such as the Bigeye tuna and the Albacore, which are classified as “near threatened” or “vulnerable” by the IUCN.

The ‘Tuna Free’ campaign being run by Sea First Foundation involves volunteer ‘Tuna Ambassadors’ working to educate local stores and restaurants on the harm being done by tuna fishing, and encouraging them to sign up to become tuna free. The project is currently operating in Belgium, but will spread to the Netherlands next year, with a plan to go international shortly after.

Participants already committed to becoming tuna free include a Michelin starred restaurant, supermarkets, and the University of Antwerp.

And as Sea First points out, the tuna is a beautiful, highly specialised and in some instances an endangered species like the polar bear or tiger: We don’t eat tiger sandwiches so why should a tuna steak be ok?

ENDANGERED RECIPES

In a related development, the British commentator George Monbiot has used his column in the British newspaper the Guardian to highlight the perverse and irresponsible practice of celebrity chefs and cookery writers who include endangered fish species in their recipes.

Monbiot is proposing that published recipes in newspapers should not include any fish species with a Good Fish Guide environmental damage rating higher than 2, and that whenever a recipe for fish or other seafood is published it should include a note urging people to buy only from a certified sustainable source.


For more information on Sea First’s tuna campaign

For more information on the Monbiot article

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