For Immediate Release
Catherine Kilduff, (415) 644-8580
World-renowned Chefs Join Call to Boycott Bluefin
Chefs Alice Waters, Dan Barber Among More Than 25,000 People in 99 Countries Backing Boycott to Save Imperiled Tuna From Overfishing
SAN FRANCISCO - Two of
the United States'
leading chefs have joined the Center for Biological Diversity's
campaign to save bluefin tuna, one of the world's most imperiled
fish. Alice Waters, owner of Chez Panisse, in Berkeley,
Calif., and Dan Barber, owner of Blue Hill
have signed a pledge not to serve bluefin in their restaurants. They join
more than 25,000 people in 99 countries who have pledged not to buy or eat
bluefin or frequent restaurants that serve it.
the sustainable food movement, the chefs at Chez Panisse and Blue Hill are
important leaders with long track records of combining exquisite food and
environmental ethics. We're happy they're lending their voice
to this urgent campaign to save bluefin tuna," said Catherine
Kilduff, a Center staff attorney. "Chefs and restaurant owners make
vital decisions every day about what foods they buy and serve. By choosing
not to serve bluefin, these chefs are helping to keep this remarkable fish
from slipping closer to extinction."
Center launched the bluefin boycott Nov. 30 after the International
Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas refused to act to protect
the species. The western Atlantic tuna stock has dropped by more than 80
percent since 1970; the eastern Atlantic stock dropped by 74 percent
between 1957 and 2007.
Panisse connects with our local purveyors on a daily basis to purchase for
and plan our menus and, most importantly, to keep informed of the current
conditions, shortages and crisis in our waters and on our farms and
ranches. Thirteen years ago when our Bay Area fish purveyor, Monterey Fish
Market, notified us about the overfishing of bluefin tuna we immediately
stopped serving it," said Chef Jean-Pierre Moullé of Chez Panisse.
"To this day we are in support of rebuilding the bluefin tuna
population and the restoration of our beautiful oceans."
week I saw a picture of a record-breaking, $396,000 bluefin tuna just off
the auction block. As chefs and people who love to eat are shaping food
fashions like never before, we ought to be getting it right. And a picture
like this says we are most definitely not getting it right. If we have the
power to popularize tuna to the point of extinction - which
we've done, with dizzying speed and effect - we also have the
power to get people to rethink what they eat, and that should include
bluefin tuna," said Barber.
which remain a staple in some sushi restaurants, have been declining for
decades due to overfishing. High prices spur rampant illegal and unreported
from launching the boycott, the Center has also petitioned the federal
government to protect Atlantic bluefin tuna under the Endangered Species
Act. The government must make a decision by May 24, 2011, whether or not to
list Atlantic bluefin tuna.
Bluefin tuna are oceangoing fish that can grow up to 10 feet long and weigh
1,200 pounds. Unlike almost all other fish, they are warm-blooded and able
to regulate their body temperature, which helps during their epic
transatlantic journeys. Top ocean predators, they sometimes hunt
cooperatively, much like wolves. With streamlined bodies and retractable
fins, they can bolt at speeds of 50 mph, crossing oceans in weeks.
International Union for the Conservation of Nature classifies the western
Atlantic bluefin tuna population and the southern bluefin tuna as
critically endangered with an "extremely high" risk of
extinction in the wild in the immediate future. IUCN classifies eastern
Atlantic bluefin tuna as endangered, meaning that it faces a "very
high" risk of extinction in the wild in the near future.
visit bluefinboycott.org to sign
the pledge, and share the Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/
At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature - to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law, and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters, and climate that species need to survive.