The feature-length documentary, “Sushi: The Global Catch”which was shot in five different nations, is set to discover the traditions, the evolution, the future, and the issues surrounding this popular dish. With the ever growing demand for sushi, the movie asks, “Can the growth continue without consequence?”
Sushi is Japan’s trademark dish. When you hear of sushi, you always think of Japan’s simplicity yet very intricate cooking styles. But what was once Japan’s special dish became a global hit for the past three decades.
Japan takes pride in its sushi making. Seeing the way non-Japanese sushi makers do it, it looks and sounds easy as it looks, but definitely it is not. For the Japanese, sushi making is a form of art as they believe that the appearance is as important as its taste. Chefs and authentic sushi makers spend years and years and yes, years to learn the real art and form ” the craft of sushi-making, the traditional way ” the Japanese way.
Sushi has come a long way since, from the streets of Japan to Australia and America. The popularity of this simple yet elegant Japanese cuisine has reached a global phenomenon. Asians, Americans, Australians, and other cultures have come to love the Japanese dish. Sushis are selling like hotcakes not only in places like the restaurants in Warsaw and New York but they’re also sold in some Texas football games, etc. Now that the demand for sushi products has been rapidly growing, how will our ocean compensate for this worldwide hit?
While we celebrate the richness and culture of this cuisine internationally, there seems to be a problem that the experts see at this point. The worldwide appetite for sushi and sashimi has driven a huge effort to get more supply of tuna. The problem here is that continuous effort of getting tuna may have reached the level of exceeding sustainability.
Global awareness, this is what the filmmakers are trying to achieve. For the fear of extinction, not only of the bluefin tuna which is commonly used for making sushis and sashimis, but also of other related fish varieties. There’s nothing wrong about the growing diversity of sushi around the world, the only problem is how we handle this demand, the environmental consequences of uncontrolled fishing expeditions for sushi-grade fish.
For over 2 years of filming, the filmmakers have gathered experts in the different aspects of sushi-making ” the Michelin-starred chef of Tokyo’s Sushiko, Mamoru Sugiyama, along with the people from Japan’s famed Tsukiji market will discuss sushi traditions; Ocean conservation specialists like Mike Sutton and sushi restaurant owner, Casson Trenor discuss the effects of the unbelievable growth of sushi, that includes overfishing for sushi-grade fish (i.e. Bluefin tuna).
Possible solutions for sustainability and prevention of extinction and ecological damage to our oceans were also discussed in the movie. There were attempts of getting the bluefins in the endangered species list, raising them in captivity in Australia, a sustainable and focused aquaculture, and an effort of educating sushi patrons about selecting fish that are not endangered.
This is a great way to learn and understand the value of these species in our lives and how we can protect them while sustaining our need for food. Some people just lack openness and discipline and may tend to overlook these things. We just need a driving force to participate in the preservation of our natural resources.