World Journal San Francisco, February 25, 2011
Businesses sign pledge to not serve bluefin tuna
By Chen Yunpu
The original story translated from Chinese to English:
Since the 1970s, bluefin tuna stocks have dropped 75 to 80 percent, making it a highly endangered species of fish. San Francisco conservation group, The Center for Biological Diversity started a movement last year to protect the bluefin tuna from becoming extinct.
The center counsel Catherine Kilduff created a pledge asking restaurants and individuals to not serve or eat bluefin tuna. Many restaurants have already signed the pledge, including the owner of Manhattan restaurant Blue Hill, Dan Barber and Alice Waters of the Berkeley, California restaurant Chez Panisse.
The Center for Biological Diversity organized an event in San Francisco on February 24, 2011 to ask restaurants in San Francisco to sign the pledge to not serve the endangered bluefin tuna, a popular item on sushi menus.
Twelve people, braving the wind and the rain joined up near Union Square in San Francisco to begin their education and advocacy work. They visited six Japanese restaurants on foot to ask them to sign the pledge. Some restaurant owners welcomed them while others would not let admit them in the restaurant.
Thomas Weibull, owner of Swell signed the pledge and said one of his reasons was he watched the Oscar award winning documentary “The Cove” about the brutal dolphin hunt in Japan. Weibull said at the rate overfishing is happening, within 40 years there may be no fish left in the ocean. He also believes consumer education is important and people need to be made aware of the plight of the bluefin tuna.
Bluefin tuna can weigh as much as 1200 pounds and is one of the largest species of tuna. According to Buffy Tarbox of GotMercury.org, bluefin tuna also contains large amounts of mercury and could result in health problems to the human body.
The Atlantic Tuna Commission for the International Conservation has refused to take any protective action, so the Center for Biological Diversity has come forward asking restaurants to not sell bluefin tuna. The Center is also asking for the bluefin tuna to be protected by law.