Sardines are truly an underrated culinary joy. If you have not yet enjoyed fresh sardines, you must get yourself to Mashiko as soon as possible because it is currently local sardine season!
We should be dancing in the streets with joy, however sardine season is short. Way too short. “How short is it?” you may ask. Well, that depends on how quickly US quotas are met regarding the maximum amount of sardines allowed to be fished each year. Last year’s season lasted only two weeks due to one vessel’s ability to catch an entire season’s worth of the little silvery guys in a single day.
So, where do all of these tasty, healthful fish wind up? According to Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, about 80% of the yearly bounty is used to feed ranched bluefin tuna. Since it takes a minimum of 7 pounds of sardines to produce 1 pound of bluefin, this is far from a sustainable practice. And why should the bluefin get to hog all of the tasty sardines? That is just ridiculous!
Hajime wants you to think about what you put into your mouth. Eating sustainably allows you to focus on deliciousness instead of being plagued with guilt. Just sayin’.