How to Destroy the Planet

By Tom Randall and Eric Roston - 2013-05-22T16:13:09Z

Photograph by Taesam Do

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Enjoy Bluefin Tuna (While Supplies Last)

One in five people relies on fish as his or her main source of protein. Unfortunately, we're over-enjoying it.

Industrial fishing has brought an increasing number of edible fish to dangerous scarcity: Atlantic Halibut, Orange Roughy, Grouper, Chilean Sea Bass and Atlantic Cod, to name a few. 

The bluefin tuna is a poster species. Sushi eaters across the world have over-indulged. Global stocks of Atlantic bluefin tuna, Japan's most prized catch, have tumbled 96 percent from decades of overfishing, according to a January report by the Pew Environment Group. Even worse: Ninety percent of the fish being caught are young fish that haven’t reproduced. 

The plight of delectable fish families has done little to curb demand. The president of a Japanese sushi chain spent a record $1.8 million for a single bluefin this year.

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