Published Dec. 7, 2010. Updated Jan. 18, 2011.
More than 25,000 people including famous green chefs Alice Waters, owner of Chez Panisse, in Berkeley, Calif., and Dan Barber, owner of Blue Hill in Manhattan have agreed since Nov. 30 to boycott bluefin tuna, according to the organizers of the boycott, the Center for Biological Diversity.
The bluefin tuna has long topped the list of "eco-worst" fish on sustainable seafood lists, like Environmental Defense Fund's Seafood Selector. But, as Paul Greenberg pointed out in Four Fish, avoiding selling or eating overfished species rarely saves the fish, unless there's a coordinated campaign that couples the boycott with a change in policy. That's what saved Atlantic swordfish (a boycott led the U.S. to restrict fishing on its spawning grounds in the Gulf of Mexico).
The bluefin tuna campaign seeks to use the power of the market to convince international regulators to restrict fishing for bluefin tuna in the Atlantic; in November, regulators failed to restrict bluefin tuna fishing enough to save the species from overfishing.
Stocks of bluefin tuna have dropped as much as 80% in 50 years, as fishing has ramped up to feed the sushi market worldwide, but especially in Japan.
Just as with the "Pass on Chilean Sea Bass" campaign, this campaign asks chefs to lead the charge. The Center for Biological Diversity singled out five prominent U.S. restaurants and specifically asked them to remove bluefin tuna from their menus: Nobu in New York City, Las Vegas and Los Angeles; Sushitaro in Washington, D.C.; and Kabuto Sushi in San Francisco.
Both Waters and Barber have shared recipes with The Daily Green's audience:
> Alice Waters' Spicy Cauliflower Soup
> Dan Barber's Cauliflower Steaks with Cauliflower Puree
> Alice Waters' Lentil Salad
> Dan Barber's 10 Greens Tart
> Alice Waters' Chard Gratin
> Dan Barber's Strawberry and Rhubarb Soup with Yoghurt Sorbet
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.