Films / Sushi: The Global Catch
USA | Documentary Feature | 2011 | 74 min | Website
Director: Mark Hall
Audience Award-San Francisco International Film Festival, Special Jury Award-Seattle International Film Festival
Film source: Kino Lorber
Sushi, a cuisine formerly found only in Japan, has grown exponentially in other nations, and an industry has been created to support it. In a rush to please a hungry public, the expensive delicacy has become common and affordable, appearing in restaurants, supermarkets, and even fast-food trailers. The tradition’s requirement for 7 years of apprenticeship in Japan has given way to quick training and mass-manufactured solutions elsewhere. Some chefs still undergo rigorous training – traditionally, it takes two years to master rice making. But the fast food movement has infected the sushi world too – witness the “Sushi Popper,” a sushi roll packaged like an ice cream push-up. You can get sushi at football games in Texas. One statistic in the film estimates that China will be soon adding 50 million sushi eaters. This is good news for sellers of sushi but bad news for some fish.
This hunger for sushi has led to the depletion of apex predators in the ocean, including bluefin tuna, to such a degree that it has the potential to upset the ecological balance of the world’s oceans, leading to a collapse of all fish species. Unfortunately, according to the film, government regulations have proven ineffective in the face of rising demand. If you are interested in doing your part to help the ecology of the world’s oceans and want to know how to balance that with sustainable seafood consumption, then this is the film for you. Through some fabulous footage it shows sushi masters at work—the sequence on knife sharpening alone is worth a trip to the cinema.
On the film’s website you can find a listing of sustainable sushi restaurants, several in California, Washington, Oregon, Connecticut and Idaho. -C.C.