Finnish Sushibar chain recently removed tuna from the menu for ethical reasons: yellowfin tuna is a species that is under threat because of overfishing, according to the online media, Helsingin Sanomat.
Riku Stenroos, who is having lunch at the restaurant, says that he has felt guilty about eating tuna.
“And it doesn’t taste so good that it would be worth bringing all the way here”, he adds. Fresh tuna is flown to Finland from Indonesia, for instance.
Many other Helsinki restaurants also plan to stop serving fresh tuna. In addition to the Sushibar restaurants, Umeshu in Töölö has already dropped tuna from the menu, and Ichiban, which has two locations, plans to do the same.
The Hanko Sushi chain is phasing out tuna in November.
“It will no longer be available in a few weeks. These matters are important for us, and we want to respect them”, says owner Rolf Wirta.
The international conservation group WWF has long encouraged restaurants to stop serving tuna.
Many restaurants in Finland are now replacing tuna with Baltic herring or pike perch.
“Two years ago many restaurants said that they cannot give up tuna, because it is important for their image”, says Sampsa Vilhunen, a marine expert at WWF.
Raw fish is used in the preparation of sushi. Fish caught in lakes are not suitable for sushi because they might contain worms and parasites.
Riku Stenroos, who works in a restaurant himself, eats Japanese food at least once a week. He finds the idea the idea of Baltic herring in sushi “a bit strange”.