Almadraba Hon Maguro

Tuna is one of the very fish that captures the essence of sushi, its popularity and without cuts such as o-toro sushi couldn’t be as internationally famous. Unfortunately based on the demand all over the globe, tuna are abused, over fished something that has caused pressures on quotas, and normal fishing in places like the south of Italy.

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In fact in Italy Riomare is the brand with the biggest market share, over 38% of the Italian tuna market, and with poor product labelling. It’s these kinds of companies that are destroying the seas and sustainability with tons of canned tuna. They over fish and use whatever methods are necessary to catch tuna.

The tuna travels as fast most legal limits on highways. They are cleaver and long distance travellers with the intention of never stopping until they are trapped, caught or fished by the many across the globe in search of the catch. In Italy the blue fin ran the northern atlantic for centuries, and tonnarotti who net by hand were common in the south in Sicily.

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The cultural harvest of bluefin tuna was called la mattanza and is barely still carried on. In Italy, traditional tuna traps, and la tonnara have been used to catch bluefin tuna by hand for a thousand years, if not more. This kind of respect and the tradition helps bring to the table a tuna that isn’t destroying the greatest tasting fish we know.

Not economical any longer, or popular among conservationists, presently only three traps remain in Italy in the southwest of Sardegna in Carloforte. The Girotonno, which is dedicated to the community’s rich history of traditional tuna fishing and consumption.

One by one all of the rest have been forced to pull their nets from the water, including the historically renowned trap of Favignana Island in Sicily, which is incredible and historical. The locals blame the end of the Bluefin on the Japanese, who along with Korean and Tawainese trawlers over fished the area from the 1960’s.Long line fishing and purse seine nets backed up by sonar and even helicopter spotters helped decimate Mediterranean Bluefin stocks. And, later on when stocks ran low, Japanese boats sat just off the coast happy to take delivery of any remaining locally caught Bluefin. The lure of soaring prices has been an attractive bait for legal and illegal fishermen alike. Italy exceeded it’s Bluefin catch quota by 100 boats and 700 tonnes of fish in 2008.

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This doesn’t change the way people think about sushi and it is ever more popular. The problem isn’t the high-end sushi, the “hon maguro”, those bluefin that are caught domestically, and served in so few counters. It’s the masses, those grotesque sushi counters that are often not manned by Japanese chefs, serving fish as if they are exerts. Fooling customers, sushi quality becomes worse and worse as demand grows. These chefs and woners are the very people are destroying the seas by supporting over fishing. The global demand and the high prices make it get worse and worse. There are so many sushi counters raping the ocean. flavour and is constantly admired by fishermen and sushi aficionados.