In an apparent response to criticism from environmental groups such as Greenpeace, two Nobu restaurant locations in London have added an asterisk to their menu listing for bluefin tuna.
The endangered fish remains on the sushi chain’s menu, but with the asterisk and notice to customers that the fish is â€˜environmentally threatened.â€™ The message goes on to advise, â€˜Please ask your server for an alternative.â€™
In other words, we’re still menuing it, just don’t order it, okay?
Nobu’s new policy is highlighted in the new documentary feature film, The End of the Line, set to open in theaters in June. Charles Clover, the environmental journalist whose book of the same name inspired the film, spent five years trying to talk to Nobu about its fish sourcing, but was rebuffed until he made the film.
Environmentalists and marine bioligists hope that the documentary will do for sustainable seafood what Al Gore’s â€˜An Inconvenient Truthâ€™ did for global warming awareness.
Only London Locations Contain the Menu Notice
Nobu’s London locations serve a variety of bluefin, including sushi and sashimi dinners. Nobu has 24 locations worldwide but the â€˜ask for an alternativeâ€™ advice appears only on the menus of its two London restaurants.
Tom Aikens, the Michelin-starred restaurateur was quoted by London’s The Independent. He described Nobu’s bluefin menu advice as â€˜very peculiar.â€™ â€˜That’s insane,â€™ the chef went on to say. â€˜If you’re serving it, you shouldn’t say don’t order it. It’s contradictory. They should take it off.â€™
According to WWF (formerly the World Wildlife Federation), breeding stocks of the bluefin species will have disappeared by 2012 at current rates of fishing.
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