Nobu - no brainer

Posted by Willie — 4 June 2009 at 4:46pm - Comments

Bluefin tuna are as endangered as gorillas or tigers
A detail from today's Evening Standard advert

Update: we visited Nobu London last night to ask why bluefin is still on their menu

The advert above appeared in today’s London Evening Standard, and does so amidst increasing pressure on the swanky Nobu sushi restaurant chain. The issue of course is that Nobu continue to serve bluefin tuna, which is officially listed as an endangered species by the IUCN. That makes it equivalent to serving up gorilla, tiger or rhino on a plate.

Today's newspapers carry several reports of a celebrity backlash against Nobu selling bluefin – with a diverse range of Nobu's A-list clientele asking them to take it off the menu. The list includes Stephen Fry, Sienna Miller, Stuart Townsend, Charlize Theron, Zac Goldsmith, Woody Harrelson, Ted Danson and Alicia Silverstone.

In New York last week, Greenpeace 'diners' caused a bit of fuss by questioning what was on the menus, and in a bizarre turn of events Nobu have returned the tips left for waiting staff. This is what Nobu seem to refer to as 'continuing dialogue' with Greenpeace.

"It's astounding lunacy to serve up endangered species for sushi. There’s no justification for peddling extinction, yet that is exactly what Nobu is doing in restaurants around the world."

And of course all of this is at the time when Charles Clover's movie version of his book, The End Of The Line is due to be shown around the UK on Monday 8th June, World Oceans' Day. The movie features the problems affecting bluefin tuna in a big way, and features Charles' and Greenpeace's campaign to get Nobu to delist bluefin tuna too.

But of course, Nobu and bluefin are but the tip of an iceberg. It's a no-brainer that endangered species should be taken off the menu, but a high-profile restaurant like Nobu should have a proper sustainable sourcing policy for all of its seafood.

If you are outraged by Nobu's seeming lack of concern that they are, as Stephen Fry so eloquently puts it 'peddling extinction', then why not let them know?

Nobu Matsuhisa (in the US)
+ 1 323-852-0811

Nobu London restaurant
Tel: 0207 447 4747

Nobu Berkeley Street restaurant
Tel: 0207 290 9222

Download a copy of the advert »


About Willie

Hi, I'm Willie, I work with Greenpeace on all things ocean-related

Twitter: @williemackenzie

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