Gotta love sushi

“In a year, we will go through 4,000 pounds of albacore, 5,500 of salmon, 3,500 pounds of tuna…” Kristofor Lofgren’s busy sushi restaurant uses incredible amounts of fish. “It’s probably eight tons of seafood that we serve, so we feel it’s our jobs to make sure we have a positive impact.” To compensate for that drain on the ocean’s resources, Lofgren wants to add all that and more back into the ocean, so every ounce of spicy tuna roll you eat puts twice as much live tuna back in the sea.

How is it that we have not depleted the fish supply yet? I ponder this question when I was traveling in Japan last December. Fish was every where I went: either on a menu at a restaurant, in markets, on conveyor belts (sushi), salty snacks that tasted like fish, and even cold for breakfast. Eating cold fish for breakfast was a true challenge; I never got use to it, nor did I enjoy eating it. I researched more on the amount of fish being consumed in Japan, and it’s importance to East Asian culture. Fish contributes a significant amount of nutrition to the East Asian diet, containing higher amounts of protein than meat and milk, and providing a good source of amino-acids, vitamins A, D, and B.

The Wall Street Journal states, “Put aside all those stories of global battles spurred by Japan’s reputation as a voracious seafood-eating nation. Here in Japan, the trend that’s causing buzz is quite the opposite: Fish consumption has been steadily declining. Per capita fish-eating fell below that of meat for the first time in 2006. The average monthly household spending on seafood has dropped 23% since 2000, to $74 last year.”

So a decline in fish consumption could also be related to children of Japan would rather eat spaghetti than squid sashimi or stewed sole. The elders are worried about choking on the sharp bones. This perhaps has a negative impact to consumption of fish. However, a song about fish called “Fish Heaven” by Gyoko was used by the Fisheries Agency in 2008 and now it is played all over the supermarkets in Japan: “Fish. Fish. Fish. You get smart when you eat fish. Smart Smart Smart. Fish Fish Fish. You get healthy when you eat fish. Healthy. Healthy. Healthy.” I did not personally hear this song because ironically they were playing christmas songs in english when I was visiting in Japan. I found a video of the Gyoko talking about Illegal Fishing in Japan through music and working at a Fishery.

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