Itsu, citing overfishing, removing yellowfin tuna from menu

Published on
June 24, 2022
The exterior of an Itsu restaurant in London, England.

London, United Kingdom-based restaurant and grocery chain Itsu is removing wild yellowfin tuna from its menu by the end of this year, citing overfishing concerns.

Itsu said the decision stems from the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) Scientific Committee report, published in February, showing the Indian Ocean yellowfin tuna stock is overfished and will require a catch reduction of at least 30 percent. The tuna will be replaced with sustainably farmed jumbo prawns, the operator of 70 restaurants and food shops said in a press release.

“Strict conservation and management efforts are needed urgently to allow Indian Ocean yellowfin to recover over the next decade. Reducing overfishing helps us meet commitments toward sustainable development and biodiversity,” Itsu said.

To ensure the long-term survival of this important stock, “we must put aside any short-term gains,” Itsu said.

"We constantly strive to do better for our customers and for our planet and we have chosen to make moves in the right direction by making the more-sustainable choice," it said.

Itsu did not respond to SeafoodSource’s request for comment.

Itsu is replacing yellowfin tuna with jumbo prawn nigiri in its bestselling boxes and itsu classic boxes, along with its delivery exclusive platters such as tuna salmon platter, sushi sashimi platter, and sashimi emperor platter.

After “years of searching for the perfect prawns,” Itsu decided on 5XL Ebi jumbo sushi prawns.

“They are the biggest on the market, and are sustainably farmed, with visibility from farm to [plate],” Itsu said.  

Photo courtesy of Richard M Lee/Shutterstock

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