Mitsubishi, Japanese mega-conglomerate, was alleged to have started hoarding thousands of tons of bluefin tuna just as stocks of the fish plummet worldwide. This raises eyebrows and a wave of concern spread out globally. It is observed that if the fish goes commercially extinct, the company is hopeful that it can turn a hefty profit from its frozen bluefin cache. It is fact that bluefin is one of the world’s most endangered fish, and is expected to go commercially extinct by 2012 if drastic measures aren’t taken to stem overfishing.
Conservationists informed that legally commercial hauls are limited to 22,000 tons per year, but the actual catch is 60,000 tons, more than four times the maximum sustainable level. By its own estimates, Mitsubishi controls 35 to 40 percent of that stock. Commenting on that Mitsubishi admits that it deep-freezes some of its catch to smooth out short-term supply, some environmentalists believe the company is attempting to corner the bluefin market and hoard inventories as supply continues its downward spiral.
Charles Clover in his environmental documentary film The End of the Line shows that big-fishing is accountable for deep-freezing up to 20,000 tons of the fish annually. Clover is at the forefront of an international campaign to raise awareness about overfishing. Last year, Greenpeace launched an advertising campaign likening bluefin to their critically endangered land counterparts.