Remember the news earlier this week that President Obama, on his trip in Japan, ate at that famous Tokyo sushi restaurant? Well, turns out that the restaurant serves one of the priciest and endangered fish on Earth: bluefin tuna.
Turret trucks careening around corners, workers unloading boxes of glistening scales and tentacles, tuna carvers wielding samurai swords. All happening while Tokyo sleeps at the world's largest wholesale seafood market.
The first bluefin tuna of the year sold in Tokyo has yet again garnered an astronomical price -- encouraging the view of this beleaguered animal as a high-status food when they deserve to stand with the white rhino and the mountain gorilla as a species under our protection.
Kiyoshi Kimura, owner of the Tokyo-based restaurant chain Sushi Zanmai, recently paid 1.76 million dollars for a very nice looking 488-pound bluefin tuna. That's an average of about $3,600 per pound -- a mere $225 per ounce.
The disruption of entire eco-systems is harmful to the people who depend upon them for their economic survival. Poaching in developing countries may temporarily enrich the poachers, but posterity is inevitably impoverished.