Toward the end of the 2011 documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,” the chefs at Tokyo’s renowned sushi restaurant Sukiyabashi Jiro discuss the future of the oceans that supply their colorful and coveted bite-sized creations. With a furrowed brow, Yoshikazu Ono, son of the legendary Jiro Ono, is particularly concerned about bluefin tuna, known in Japan as honmaguro. The quintessential sushi morsel, o-toro (fatty tuna), comes from the belly of the bluefin.
Times are certainly better for bluefin now, but has the fishery been saved? 2013 Atlantic bluefin tuna quotas will be slightly higher than the previous three years. The 13,500-metric-ton (MT) total is up from just 12,900 MT, but the new limit pleased environmental groups that follow fisheries decisions closely. Amanda Nickson, global tuna conservation director for the Pew Environment Group, was encouraged that ICCAT didn’t overreact to the October report that she said showed a “possibility, maybe, of a glimmer of hope” for the stock’s recovery. As the meeting wore on, she was concerned that proposals for higher quotas might sway the decision; they didn’t.
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