Last Tuna?

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There, in the center of our lunchtime salad is the last Sicilian tuna that I’ll buy and that really sucks. Even the Italians have over-fished their tuna.
Last Tuna?
There, in the center of our lunchtime salad is the last Sicilian tuna that I’ll buy and that really sucks. Even the Italians have over-fished their tuna. 
Sicilian tuna fishing has a long, long history, possibly dating back to the Phoenician or Carthaginian era.  The tuna are migratory and May/June was the traditional time to hunt for tuna in a ritual known as the ‘mattanza’. And all was well in tuna world until the 1970’s when this delicious tuna was introduced to Japan and the sushi knife. The price skyrocketed making tuna a lucrative business, but the tuna takes 10 years to reach sexual maturity and no one was waiting. They’ve been fished to the point where there is serious concern that the breed will survive.
Good Sicilian tuna fish, packed in oil is so tasty. Fresh grilled tuna steak, topped with chopped tomatoes and capers is divine.  It’s just breaking my heart that I can’t in good conscience buy it any more.

The reassuring news is that if you are in North America, albacore tuna is a good alternative. And if you are in the US, here’s an informative link to see what is a sustainable fish in your region. 

If anyone comes across a reliable Italy guide to sustainable fish, could you let me know? I've looked and looked and can't find anything comprehensible.

The other good news is that all the other stuff on that salad plate either came from our garden, or from our friend Bruce’s chickens. Except for the lemon, sadly no lemon trees in our orto. Fried zucchini with their blossom still attached are a crunchy, delicious thing of beauty.

Guess there will be no more salad nicoise in my future this summer. sigh.

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