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What is the future for the bluefin tuna? NPR, March 12, 2010 CNN, March 19, 2010 Do you like to eat bluefin tuna (maguro, otoro, etc.)? What do you know about the bluefin tuna? Vocabulary _ There is a large international trade in bluefin tuna. _ An international treaty helps to protect animals that are in danger. _ Many people want the bluefin tuna to be listed as an endangered species. _ Fishing for bluefin tuna is regulated by a fisheries organization. _ Japan imports a large amount of bluefin tuna. _ Many scientists fear that bluefin tuna could be fished to extinction. _ The organization proposed a ban on the trade of bluefin tuna. _ Japan has a large appetite for bluefin tuna. _ Several countries lobbied against the proposal. _ The ban would cut off the importing of Atlantic bluefin tuna. _ Scientists say that overfishing has made the bluefin tuna an endangered species. _ Activists say that the bluefin tuna should be cherished before it is too late. Comprehension 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Mr. Stevens says that the organization which regulates fishing for bluefin tuna allows [less / the same amount / more] of the fish to be caught than is recommended by biologists. According to the report, the Atlantic bluefin tuna is [up / down] to 10-15% of its historical numbers. The Japanese government is [in favor of / against] a ban on international trading of bluefin tuna. Japan imports [4,300 / 43,000 / 403,000] tons of tuna each year, the trade equal to about [$1,000,000 / $100,000,000 / $1,000,000,000]. The World Wildlife Fund says that the Mediterrean bluefin tuna will [start to recover / become extinct] by 2012. The proposed ban on bluefin tuna [passed / failed], and the global trading of the bluefin tuna [will / will not] continue. According to the report, about [8% / 18% / 80%] of the world’s bluefin tuna is eaten in Japan. The owner of “Sushi Ichiban” says that the proposed ban is [fair / unfair]. a. when a particular type of animal or plant stops existing b. a formal written agreement between two or more countries or governments c. to control an activity or process, especially by rules d. in danger of being hurt, damaged, or destroyed e. the activity of buying, selling, or exchanging goods within a country or between countries f. an official order that prevents something from being used or done g. to bring a product from one country into another so that it can be sold there h. a group of animals or plants that are similar and can breed together to produce young animals or plants i. to stop the supply of something j. to try to persuade the government or someone with political power that a law or situation should be changed k. to love something or someone and take care of them; to feel that something is very important l. a desire for food

Discussion: (1) The report says: “[M]any customers see a restriction on fish as an attack on Japanese culture... a bluefin ban is viewed as the West telling Japan how to eat.” However, conservationists say that if something isn’t done to protect the bluefin tuna, it may become extinct. Do you agree that the proposed ban is an attack on Japanese culture, or do you think a ban is necessary to protect the bluefin tuna from becoming extinct? (2) How often do you eat bluefin tuna (maguro, otoro, etc.)? Did these reports convince you to reduce or stop your consumption of bluefin tuna? Why or why not?
Lesson created by Steve Silver, Kwansei Gakuin University, Nishinomiya, Japan. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit

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