A couple months ago, I wrote a brief piece about a possible ban on the trade in bluefin tuna--a seriously endangered species, made so almost completely because it is so unbelievably delicious and fetches market prices higher than trading in cocaine. In it, I put myself fully on the side of groups that I don't generally support: folks like Greenpeace and PETA and various fish activists, the World Wildlife Federation and PEW Environment group. I was, for the first time that I can recall, in the corner of someone who wanted to ban something--to make it illegal for me to put something in my mouth and chew.
And not that I thought my voice was going to make any kind of difference in the noisy tumult, but I was still rather surprised when the listing of bluefin tuna as an endangered species (which could not be fished, except under certain circumstances) failed by a considerable margin during a vote by the United Nations Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES).
For any of you out there who want to learn more about the backroom dealing at the CITES conference that led to the bluefin being left unprotected, about tuna fishing, the history of bluefin as food, the depressing effects of the human appetite on fish stocks or see what it's like to be up close and personal with, literally, one of the last of the giant bluefins, Greenberg's article should be required reading. It's not only a fantastic piece of journalism, but a great read as well. And while I might not have the power or reach to affect international fishing policies or get people to stop shoving great big wads of o-toro in their mouths, here's hoping that Greenberg might.
Because if someone doesn't do or say something useful soon, there's going to be no more bluefin left for anyone.