Category Archives: Sustainability Issues

We Wish This Were An April Fool’s Day Joke

Tonight at 10:00pm, National Geographic Channel is debuting the season premier of its new series, Wicked Tuna.  Their website states: 

“Fishing is a hard life, and harder with bluefin stocks depleted. In Gloucester, Massachusetts, there’s a special breed of fishermen. For generations they’ve used rod and reel to catch the elusive bluefin tuna. They depend on these fish for their livelihood, and the competition is brutal.”

We are surprised that National Geographic would support bluefin fishing in any capacity as these fish have already been fished to near extinction.  There are currently no sustainable sources of bluefin tuna.  Check your Seafood Watch Pocket Guide or app for more reasons to avoid bluefin.  Why address the plight of the bluefin on their website, yet still choose to air this series?  We don’t serve bluefin, and we encourage everyone to not eat bluefin to give it time to repopulate.

What do you think?  Will this show address the sustainability of bluefin tuna?  Or will it just glorify those who choose to exploit bluefin to earn a living?  We’re cautiously curious.

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The Beauty of Hawaiian Abalone

As many of you know, our very own Chef Hajime Sato was in Hawaii last month eating lots of local fare and continuing his aquaculture research.  A good portion of one day was spent visiting Big Island Abalone.

Big Island Abalone's Hiroshi Arai showed Hajime ezo awabi in different stages of growth.

Most wild abalone habitats along the West Coast have been severely damaged, so it is very difficult to get any quality abalone in that manner.  Under the right conditions, abalone can thrive when properly farmed.  Big Island Abalone primarily grows a Japanese strain originating from Hokkaido called ezo awabi. Interestingly enough, the main food source enjoyed by these abalone is seaweed strains originating in our Puget Sound!  The clean, non-invasive conditions of this type of aquaculture produces 60 tons of abalone per year.  Think of what a relief this must be to the wild sources, allowing them to reestablish themselves in the oceans.

Oh so much delicious abalone...

Hajime returned with a fresh perspective on abalone.  What better way to share his renewed passion than to serve you some, fresh from the Big Island?  We just received a beautiful shipment of ezo awabi.  We invite you to stop by Mashiko to experience the unique flavor and very gentle texture.  You won’t find fresher abalone in Seattle!  They won’t last long, so get yours soon!

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Filed under Education, Sustainability Issues

Join Hajime at “The End of the Line” Screening in West Seattle

With everything going on over the past couple of weeks, we nearly forgot to tell everyone about an awesome upcoming event.  That would have been terrible!

We are excited to announce that Sustainable West Seattle is about to host a screening of one of our favorite films, The End of the Line.  Come by the Admiral Theater on Monday, March 21st at 7:00pm to show your support for sustainable seafood.  Here is more information for those who really need to be in the know.

We are proud that our very own Chef Hajime Sato will be in attendance, ready and willing to field your questions after the film.  From the beautifully shot movie to your participation in the discussion, this is sure to be a great evening.  Keep in mind that the event will run a good couple of hours.  Dare we suggest dinner at Mashiko beforehand?  Oh, I think we just did.

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Filed under Events, Sustainability Issues

Sustainable Seafood Goes Big

We’re guessing by now that you all know our good pal Casson Trenor.  Some might call him a hard worker, some might call him stubborn.  Hajime calls him all kinds of things.  We call his latest accomplishment with Greenpeace tenaciously wonderful.

So, after eight long months of constant badgering, Costco has finally agreed to drastically change their seafood policies, with great strides towards carrying only sustainable seafood.  Please do read about it here, or be lazy and just watch the short video.  It’s about time that the big guys are catching up to what West Seattle cares about.  Congratulations to Casson!  Long live the oceans!

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Filed under Announcements, Sustainability Issues

The Story of the Bluefin

We hope that everyone will watch this video and then tell someone else about it.

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Filed under Education, Sustainability Issues, Your Help Needed

Mashiko Featured on MSN

Just a short time ago, the nice folks at MSN asked Hajime if he’d like to spend an afternoon driving around in a new car, eating ice cream, and talking about sustainable sushi.  We believe his answer was, “Hells yeah”.  For your viewing pleasure, the resulting video can be found here.  *Please note that you will have to select the “Sustainable Seattle” video by clicking on the little picture of a white bowl with waffle cones in it.  Waffle cones.  Mmmmm…

Check  out Hajime’s fancy “Insider Profile” here.

Since you clearly have enough time to click on blog links and hang out waiting for files to buffer, you should be sure to also check out the “Strange Brew” video.  It features our very good friend Angela Shen of Savor Seattle Food Tours as well as one of our favorite places to get a beer in West Seattle, Elliott Bay Brewery.

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Filed under In The Media, Sustainability Issues

The Sadly Short Sardine Season

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! 

Casson Trenor wants you to eat more sardines, too.

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’.


Filed under Sustainability Issues

Hajime Wants YOU To Make Sustainable Sushi

Surely your sweetheart was delighted by your Valentine’s Day present.  What’s that you say?  Not so much?  Well then, now is the time to right that wrong by signing the two of you up for an evening filled with food, fun, and fabulousity.  Our very own Chef Hajime Sato will be teaching his Sustainable Sushi and Sake class at Diane’s Market Kitchen this coming Tuesday, February 23rd. 

Diane knows how to have fun in the kitchen.

We had considered playfully accusing Hajime of trying to teach everyone how to make sustainable sushi so that he can retire.  We then realized that teasing a strong-willed man holding a very big knife may not be prudent.

Regardless, this is a very popular class.  Register now before the few remaining seats have been filled! 

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Filed under Events, Sustainability Issues

UN Agency Favors Ban on Bluefin Tuna Exports

This article made us happy. 

Give bluefins a chance.


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Catch THE END OF THE LINE Tomorrow Night

“What is sustainable seafood?”  “Are non-sustainable methods really that bad?”  “Why should I care about how my seafood got to my table?”  These are all fair questions, and we hear them on a daily basis.
The End of the Line is a great movie that gives insight into the current plight of our oceans.  Beautifully shot on location around the world, The End of the Line details how careless fishing practices are impacting our planet as a whole.  With breathtaking footage, amazing facts, and a hopeful message, we think you will appreciate this aquatic education.  Perhaps it will inspire you to take on a cause of your own.

Lucky us!  Sundance Channel will be airing The End of the Line on January 25th at 6:30pm.  Cancel your plans, set your DVR, or better yet, invite your friends over for an awe-inspiring, thought-provoking night.

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