Monday, January 23, 2012

How Far Will It Go?

Bluefin-big


I have never tasted Atlantic bluefin tuna sushi or sashimi. Actually I don't think I've eaten that species of tuna in any form. I will probably never get the chance to. Not that it's not available, sadly it is. But this fish, a species that has fed the world for thousands of years is in danger of collapsing to unrecoverable levels due to overfishing. Now in years past, Americans would learn about such things by reading the National Geographic magazine. They would have spectacular action color photography of tuna underwater. They might have Jacques Cousteau explain the various migration and mating patterns of this apex predator. I'm sure there would even be a map and graph showing all the different species and habitats of the tunas of the world. Later, when television took off, National Geographic wildlife specials were fascinating and a bit scary. All the drama you could want was right there as you followed what ever creature or life form they were exploring. Little did we know those were the golden years of Nat Geo.

Nat Geo recently announced that they are to air "Wicked Tuna", an unscripted reality show featuring tuna fishermen of Gloucester, Massachusetts has they hunt the Atlantic Bluefin tuna. Now this is sad in just so many ways. First I learned that News Corp and Rupert Murdoch owns 67% of the National Geographic Channel which begins to explain Wicked Tuna. You see, the "fishing reality/competition" reality programs have been done to death. Deadliest Catch has been running on the Discovery Channel since 2005. Then we had Lobstermen but that lasted only one season. Determined to keep cashing in on Deadliest Catch's format for success, sword fishermen (and woman) were next to pop up on the Discovery Channel. But neither the Atlantic Bluefin tuna's precarious fishery levels nor the tired nature of watching men fish will keep Nat/News Corp from promoting and airing Wicked Tuna.

What can you do to help stop promoting the destruction of the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna? Well for one thing kill your cable television. I'm not joking. In April of last year I ditched pay tv and haven't looked back. No money will go to Murdoch, no eyes will see whatever advertisers pay for commercial time on Wicked Tuna. I was mad as hell and I didn't want to take it anymore. Isn't it about time for you to stop taking it too?

6 comments:

Buzz Kill said...

Just this month a 593 pound bluefin sold in Japan for $724,000. That's over $1,200 per pound. A little rich for my taste.

I have watched shows like Deadliest Catch without giving much thought to whether the crab was endangered or not because the catch is supposed to be regulated. I assume this Wicked Tuna show is too, but alright, so it's government regulated. For me these shows are like NASCAR - I watch for the stupidity and the accidents.

It's noble that you are taking up the cause for the environment, and I do my share with scouting. But I can't give up my cable. Food and TV is all I have left.

Big Shamu said...

Thanks Buzz, the fisheries and the industry are federally regulated but as I'm sure you can imagine, the folks being regulated don't like having their potential profits cut into.

By the way, in addition to Wicked Tuna, Nat Geo is also some sort of show that pits adults against teen aged Boy Scouts competing for badges. I don't really get the concept but again, I'm guessing I'm not the target audience.

MakingSpace said...

I've never gotten the Nat Geo channel, but do get basic cable - and Netflix. I've been reading about this too and rethinking my devotion to Nat Geo specials on Netflix. Sigh...

froggy said...

Regulated but...
one of those shows, about logging, had so many infractions they fined some of the *cast*.

Big Shamu said...

Froggy, another piece of entertainment I just don't get and certainly don't miss.

Buzz Kill said...

I didn't know about the "Are You Tougher than a Boy Scout?" show. I'm definitely watching that one when it comes out later this year. I'm going to post on one of our winter camping trips and let everyone judge how tough these boys are.