Due to overfishing and pollution, Japanese izakayas may soon run out of fish
If you've ever gone drinking at a Japanese izakaya, you've probably either seen or tasted Aji or Hokke, types of mackerel. Every izakaya has these delicious fish on their menu, but unfortunately, they may soon disappear.
Ever since the worldwide sushi boom, Japan has gradually experienced a fish shortage. Growing up in Japan, the only places you could eat sushi were sushi restaurants. Now you can get sushi in convenience stores and supermarkets. Here in the US, there were originally only a few sushi restaurants in major cities. Now, even in America, sushi is available everywhere. There are countless sushi restaurants, and if you please, you can purchase sushi in Whole Foods or any neighborhood supermarket.
Japan has always been known as a fish-consuming society. But unlike other countries known for large fishing industries, like Norway, Iceland, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, Japan has absolutely zero restrictions on the amount of fish that are allowed to be caught. The aforementioned countries have had laws limiting ocean fishing for over thirty years.
With over-fishing, and with the unfortunate ongoing tragedy at Fukushima, the oceans surrounding Japan are no longer abundant with healthy, yummy fish. Sushi chefs in Japan have told me that many fish they used to have in stock are no longer available. And now, even izakayas are affected. Unless the Japanese government springs into action, the day will come when you can no longer enjoy a Hokke at your local izakaya. And that sucks.