Let’s put aside ideology—for a moment—and instead state an unadorned bit of common sense: Bluefin tuna (and other large fish) would not be in danger if humans didn’t kill and eat them. Thus, in that spirit, I present…8 Reasons Why We Should Leave Tuna (and Other Large Fish) Alone.
The FDA says: “Nearly all fish and shellfish contain traces of methylmercury. However, larger fish that have lived longer have the highest levels of methylmercury because they’ve had more time to accumulate it.” What can methylmercury do to us humans? For starters: brain damage, memory loss, personality change, tremors, spontaneous abortion, and damage to a developing fetus. Fatigue and memory loss caused by mercury poisoning from eating fish is so common that doctors even have a name for it: fish fog.
2. Large Fish Are Just Like Kittens (or Maybe Even Tigers)
In the words of PETA’s Ashley Byrne: “PETA thought that by renaming fish sea kittens, compassionate people who would never dream of hurting a dog or a cat might extend that sympathy to fish, or sea kittens.” Why kittens? Well, like cats, fish feel pain, have complex social interactions, form bonds, and express affection by gently rubbing against one another. You wouldn’t hook a cuddly little kitty through the mouth, would you? Greenpeace is taking a different approach, characterizing eating the endangered fish like eating a rhino or tiger. I think I prefer the kittens.