It's 4.45am on a Wednesday in Osaka, Japan. The fish market is quieter than expected, and the haul of tuna looks to be limited and juvenile. What the fishmonger above brought in was the biggest among the fish we came upon.
The subdued atmosphere could be due to the drastic cutting of Japan's allowable haul of immature bluefin tuna from the Pacific (by 50 per cent in 2015), although it has been reported that the Japanese - the world's largest consumer of bluefin tuna at 80 per cent - have not been supporting the extra conservation measures. Stock assessment done in 2014 showed that the tuna population level is nearing historically low levels and is experiencing high exploitation rates, and those numbers are set to deteriorate if we continue the way we do.
Tuna fish can spawn millions of eggs a year - our ravenous human appetite is just not giving the fish's population time to recover.