Friday, February 12, 2010

Tsukiji fish market

forgot to post this earlier.

Everybody and all the guidebooks say you gotta chk out the tsujiki fish market. i got a bit lost, and didn't arrive there until 7:30 am. rather on the late side.

Nonetheless, i still saw scores of crazy sea creatures captured and slaughtered for human consumption. Particularly heaps and heaps of massive tuna. tuna fish that pbly weigh about as much as a 4'6 woman.

My brother (and many others) went on and on about how amazing and incredible it is, so intense, adrenaline, etc.

but largely, i felt... disturbed. All the fish that are sourced out to the rest of japan come here first. so the numbers of these fish struck me as insane.

the word "unsustainable" kept ringing through my head. there were moments i felt like i was witnessing the end of humanity. SO MANY fish, caught EVERY DAY. and that necessitates lots of MONEY and LIVELIHOODS.

It was so obvious that despite decreasing fish stocks people will fight tooth and nail to preserve the industry that they and their families have practiced for centuries.

However, i suspect that these tuna may replicate the boom and bust cod fisheries of Atlantic Canada, an industry that never recovered, since the cod lost their place in the food chain.

And sadly, the less fish there are, the more efficient the means of catching them becomes to keep the output consistent.

this from the Washington Post:
An international group of ecologists and economists warned yesterday that the world will run out of seafood by 2048 if steep declines in marine species continue at current rates, based on a four-year study of catch data and the effects of fisheries collapses.

2048, huh? i totally believe it.

The thing that pbly impacted me the most however, was seeing someone purchase an octopus. The merchant picked up the purple creature, sliced off its strangely squooshy melon, tossed it in the garbage, and placed the 8 legs into a clear plastic bag.

Shit, i'd be pretty pissed off if people had no interest in my head. Or body. It's a bit like the sharkfin phenomenon.

Well, it struck me as a metaphor for our waste of natural resources and ambivalence towards life and sentience.

On the plus side, in a country where most everything is expensive, by necessity everytime i eat out i scrape the platter clean.

1 comment:

Shiraz said...

on the cultural relativity vs animal rights question, i fall firmly on the animal rights side of things. octopus are beautiful, insanely intelligent, simply INCREDIBLE creatures. this makes me sad.