Sushi : The Global Catch

This documentary shows insight on the impact sushi makes worldwide. It explores the consequences of its rising popularity within the past 30 years and the growing interest of China towards the Japanese meal. Tuna fishing is the most lucrative business in the world but according to filmmaker Mark S. Hall, it is also the less sustainable one. Bluefin tuna is the most expensive and popular species of tuna used for sushi. Hall states that this fish can be caught in three oceans and is all brought to Japan where it is auctioned to numerous countries all over the planet. One of the chef that was interviewed explained that it takes four days for Bluefin caught in Australia to arrive in his New York restaurant. The demand is growing exponentially for Bluefin and so is mass fishing. A traditional Japanese fisherman said that one Japanese fishing boat can bring back up to 600 tons of tuna in one trip. Fishermen prefer net fishing to line fishing because it yields more than the ecologically responsible traditionnal technique.

Since 1950, the Bluefin tuna population decreased of 80% and the Director of the Center for the Future of the Oceans in California, Mike Sutton says that it is alarming for the furture of the oceanic ecosystems all over the planet. Marine biologist and world’s leading expert on Bluefin tuna, Dr. Barbara Block stated that once this fish is gone, it is the whole aquatic ecosystem that will suffer. Hall interviewed interviewed traditionnal Japanese fishermen from the little seaside village Oma and they are scared for their future and the one of their families. These  fishermen are still line fishing and in a 6 months period, they will only yield 30 to 60 tunas. They told him that once there are no more Bluefin tuna, they will not have anymore finacial means to survive.

In San Francisco, seafood activist and self-proclaimed sustainibility expert, Casson Trenor opened a sustainable sushi restaurant which only serves sustainable seafood. It is a small step into protecting the most popular fish, considering that in 2012, one Bluefin tuna was auctioned for 400 000$ in Japan.

This documentary was educational and well done. It gave the facts for what they are and did not try to force feed the viewer with one opinion. It also gave concrete actions that can be made by the general public to try and change the fishing industry.

Leave a Reply