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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

26/11/14: Surrogate sushi: Mackerel to spawn overfished tuna

Of all the overfished fish in the seas, luscious, fatty bluefin tuna are among the most threatened. Marine scientist Goro Yamazaki, who is known in this seaside community as “Young Mr Fish,” is working to ensure the species survives, the Japan Times reports.

Yamazaki is fine-tuning a technology to use mackerel surrogates to spawn the bluefin, a process he hopes will enable fisheries to raise the huge, torpedo-shaped fish more quickly and at a lower cost than conventional aquaculture. The aim: to relieve pressure on wild fish stocks while preserving vital genetic diversity.


This month, experts in charge of managing Atlantic bluefin met in Italy and raised the quota for catches of that species by 20 percent over three years. Stocks have recovered somewhat after a severe decline over the past two decades as fishermen harvested more to meet soaring demand, especially in Japan.

But virtually in tandem with that, the International Union for Conservation of Nature put Pacific bluefin tuna on its 'Red List,' designating it as a species threatened by extinction.

About a quarter of all tuna are consumed by the Japanese, according to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation. They gobble up most — between 60 and 80 percent — of all bluefin. Rosy, fatty “chu-toro” from the upper part of bluefin bellies, is especially prized for sushi and sashimi.

Yamazaki and other researchers are hoping their latest attempt to get mackerel to spawn bluefin will prove a success. An earlier attempt failed due to what he suspects was a water-temperature problem.





Read more HERE.

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