Narrator: There's real magic in a table that brings together fish from around the world: the entire planet in front of you, captured in a noble hunt, part of thousands of years of tradition. Seafood may share one destination, but no two journeys are ever quite the same. This is "The Story of Sushi."
Boats travel from continent to continent hunting seafood, the highest traded commodity on the globe. The majority of seafood is caught by large corporate fishing vessels. Overfishing is occurring at rapid rates. This is a problem for the environments of local villages and for whole countries in faraway lands.
Most often, boats apply unsustainable fishing methods, catching many species at one time without the right gear or license to process as food. This creates a devastating effect called "bycatch." For every pound of seafood that makes it, an estimated five pounds are thrown overboard and wasted: sharks, sea turtles, birds, dolphins, whales. The ecosystem suffers.
From the oceans, distributors take the seafood first for processing. From there, it's sent to local markets. This means the seafood could be contained for weeks before it ever gets to a restaurant. Of the 125 to 150 million tons of seafood caught each year, roughly 20-45% goes uneaten because of improper storage and transportation.
And when the fish is delivered to your restaurant, the journey is complete, but one must reflect on this journey: How did the fisherman pull the seafood from the ocean? Did they kill the ecosystem to catch the fish, only to lie and sell it as "sustainable"? Is the restaurant selling the real fish being paid for? And what about all that bycatch that doesn't make it to your plate?
We can do better than this. There is a better way.
By the year 2048, the United Nations predicts our entire planet's oceans will be commercially fished out. We must adopt new standards in how we catch the world's largest source of protein. In this journey, we'll have smaller vessels, employing more people.
We'll take our time to catch more fish without wasteful bycatch. The oceans will repopulate. In this journey, the oceans will have lawfully designated fishing zones. Mass overfishing will be prevented. Restaurants will buy a variety of species from traceable sources.
In this journey, governments will come together to provide regulation in the fishing industry. We'll require proper licensing to curb rampant pirating of fish. In this journey, there will be transparency. We have a right to know what fish we're purchasing and where it comes from. We'll use the power of the dollar to drive change.
And when fish is delivered to this restaurant, the table will still have its magic, but it will feel different. This time there will be more nobility in never having to doubt a fish's quality, where it came from, or its impact on the environment. That's the way it should be. That's the way it will be, as long as we come together to change the way the story of sushi is told.There may be small errors in this transcript.