Leading article: No! Sushi

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The Independent Online

Hold those chopsticks! Put the soy sauce down. Move away from the sushi bar. For while you may think that your sushi lunch is just another toothsome example of modern Britain's culinary cultural revolution, others might well see you as an enemy of the planet.

Our long stading national taste for tuna mayonnaise and sweetcorn sandwiches was environmentally sustainable; the sushi craze, it seems, is not.

Much of the tuna catch has traditionally been exported to Japan, where they know how to do sushi properly, but the market in Europe is growing due to the increasing popularity of that dish. We British consume some 600 tonnes of sushi each year and high demand has pushed the price to several thousand pounds for a single tuna fish. Her Majesty's Government has demanded urgent intervention as tuna stocks reach perilously low levels.

Quite right. We have seen cod and sea bass put on the at-risk list, while our old friend the sturgeon, the source of our caviar, has almost gone the way of the dodo, the Tasmanian Tiger and the passenger pigeon, never to be seen again. Our solution? Go for snapper, conger, eel, mackerel and salmon in preference to tuna. As a last resort try vegetarian sushi instead. No, it isn't the same, but after you've drowned the dish in soy sauce and wasabi and refreshed your palate with a few flakes of gari you'll hardly notice the difference. Bon appetit.

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