With a single bluefin worth as much as $150,000 on the Tokyo market, UN experts say Italian and Russian organised crime is involved. A purse-seine boat can cost up to $500,000. The world conservation body WWF has alleged that mafia-owned fishing operations launder money from other activities and exploit official fishing subsidies.

A sad story from many different angles: The fact that organised crime can always find a way to plumb new depths, and that illegal trawlers can too. Also for the approaching extinction of an amazing creature, and the despair of sushi and sandwich lovers worldwide. I spent the early part of today reading about the mass extinction events during the time of the dinosaurs. It’s sad to think that the modern equivalent of the dust cloud or giant meteorite will be greed.

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