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Robert De Niro Caught Selling Endangered Fish in His Restaurants

Robert De Niro Looking Scared Behind Matt DamonThis past weekend, undercover operatives from Greenpeace tested the DNA of fish served in several London-based restaurants that are part of a chain known as Nobu. The restaurants are partially owned by actor Robert De Niro. The tested fish were discovered to be endangered bluefin tuna. In an incredibly stupid response, Nobu’s principal manager has decided to label the endangered fish with an asterisk on the restaurants’ menu, rather than stopping to serve it.

Do I think this response will ultimately be acceptable to the world community? Absolutely not. If De Niro is as good at managing his restaurants as he is his acting career, then the appropriate action for this embarrassing incident should be a no-brainer. But instead, De Niro’s partner has shot them in the foot. [social_buttons]

According to the Telegraph, Richie Notar, the chain’s manager has said that an asterisk will now be put on the menu to aware customers of the fish’s status. They add the following: “Mr. Notar said he would like to take bluefin off the menu altogether, but the move was being resisted by the chain’s Japanese chefs who serve it in sushi and sashimi. In Japan, bluefin is considered the most delicious of all tuna species.”

I guess you have about the same size backbone as the fish you are serving, Mr. Notar.

In fairness to Notar, it is not illegal to sell bluefin tuna. The Telegraph notes on the other hand that “scientists have warned that fishing for bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean and Eastern Atlantic is taking place at levels far higher than stocks can stand. A crisis meeting to discuss a possible ban on fishing takes place in November.”

My guess is that De Niro’s restaurant chain will suffer a serious decline in business because of Greenpeace’s sting operation. Whether or not the international community is as outraged as I am remains to be seen. Hopefully De Niro will come forward and do the right thing.

Read More About Celebrities and the Environment on the Green Options Network:

Photo Credit: Siebbi on Flickr under a Creative Commons license [social_buttons]




40 comments
  1. cole

    wow the rude comments of "it's just a fish " are sickening. It's a shame that I have to shake my head in disbelief at my fellow man. You people should be ashamed and learn some compassion. It's called a food "chain" for a reason. EVERY link counts. Once you start destroying the links, the connection that holds life together will fail! As responsible people we need to understand that we are blessed with this kind of information to make us more aware of how we can change the world for the better!

  2. Henry Tuttle

    I ate at the new Nobu that just opened in the Atlantic resort in Dubai for the first time last week. It was my first time at a Nobu and it was one of the better dining experiences that I’ve ever had. Then I read about the serving of endangered fish and will have to take my business elsewhere.

    I didn’t order anything endangered, but refuse to support a restaurant that is selfish enough to continue to contribute to the extinction of a species just because it tastes a little better.

    The sad thing is that the restaurant doesn’t need it. They could easily maintain their standards without it. I hope they come to their senses.

  3. Jet

    It’s fish. As we often quote, there are plenty more fish in the sea. I can’t believe people went through the trouble of DNA testing the fish (which they had to order to test, which in essence is perpetuating the “problem”). I can’t understand how organizations like PETA and Greenpeace dedicate themselves to saving animals when there are millions of destitute HUMANS in the world with no one to help them. Plus all this hubbub about the fish is press. Good press, or bad press, it’s still press- which is exactly what I imagine the type of people who eat in Dinero’s restaurant relish in. I bet that tuna is selling like hotcakes now! LOL

  4. Chris_B

    Cry me a river bitches, its not illegal there’s no real shame here at all. Greenpeace once again proves themselves to be nothing but publicity whores.

  5. Nicole

    If it isn’t illegal to sell or fish Bluefin then there isn’t anything anyone can do about it. And, unless the coverage of the story is more widespread than this article on planetsave.com the general public isn’t going to give shit. The owners and managers, and also Chefs, of Nobu can do whatever they want provided it is legal. The fact is that people who patronize this restaurant and others like it have enough money to spend on delicacies that they don’t care what the environmental implications are. Another example is fois gras – you don’t see the rich rejecting restaurants that serve that do you? Even though it is extremely inhumane to ducks and geese. Greenpeace isn’t the police and are rouge enough that main stream populations don’t pay them any mind.

  6. Bluefin is Delicious

    So I guess if Nobu stops selling bluefin they’ll magically be saved. Too bad 80% of all the bluefin tuna in the world is sold to Japan. Way to make a difference guys…

  7. Button

    Well I know that this just makes me want to go to Nobu even more than I already did! Unless somebody can suggest a cheaper restaurant that sells bluefin tuna?!?

  8. Dragon

    “Undercover operatives”? “Sting operation”?

    What this probably means is that they ordered some, grabbed it, and then ran out on the bill so they wouldn’t be actually contributing money to the “evil” DeNiro. But calling it by these James Bond-y names makes them feel brave, I guess.

    It is to laugh.

  9. Peter

    Ugh, relax, It’s not even a endangered fish. Stop running “sting” operations and exposing people that you think are destroying this planet. You’re just a bunch of whiny babies who if they focused their energy on something pertinent and worthwhile may actually accomplish something that could better this planet. Instead you’re all running around like a bunch of wanna-be spies collecting “DNA evidence” from expensive restaurants you all can’t afford and then criticizing the owners and managers. Grow up.

  10. Barius

    It’s unfortunate that for centuries the Bluefin was fished in a sustainable manner by societies in several geographic locations, yet today with the introduction of modern trawlers the Bluefin may be gone forever. To the previous posters that laugh at this and make flippant remarks: it isn’t the Bluefin that is going to suffer, they’ll all be dead anyways. The fishermen that made a sustainable living in the past are already suffering. Further, the destruction of this natural resource to satisfy no one but the rich elite is a crime that needs to be punished.

  11. JB

    “My guess is that De Niro’s restaurant chain will suffer a serious decline in business because of Greenpeace’s sting operation.”

    I think you vastly over estimate the importance of greenpeace to most people. Greenpeace are the same people who are opposed to pebblebed reactors…. they think with things other than their brains.

  12. arf

    its a japanese restaurant. of course they sell tuna. telling them to stop selling tuna would be like telling ruth’s chris to stop serving beef.

  13. Stephen

    As others have said, while it’s noble that Greenpeace feels that their sting operation will deter patrons from ordering blue fin, the reality is nothing’s changed. The audience that this restaurant attracts will be pleased to find a rare delicacy on the menu available for consumption….at whatever price necessary.

    This has nothing to do with backbone or ethics. Until it’s illegal to sell bluefin, the restaurant has every right to sell blue fin at whatever price point they’d like to whomever they’d like as often as they’d like. Bottom line.

  14. Paul

    “My guess is that De Niro’s restaurant chain will suffer a serious decline in business because of Greenpeace’s sting operation”

    My guess is that you’re totally wrong on this one.

  15. chris

    I will be sure to tell my buddy in London to go check out the delicious tuna asap. Thanks for the tip on where to find endangered fish. Everything tastes better when it’s almost gone.

  16. Lenny

    What honestly will be the difference? An elite fish to eat is probably well known before they order it. If people have the opportunity to eat a delicassy like that and know it, I next to guarantee they will.

    Putting a little star beside it makes it more exciting to eat!

    Think of it, we make laws and rules to what….? BREAK THEM!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Rastapasta

    Blue Fin tuna are a giant tuna, their backbones are as large as, to twice as large as an adult human.

    The reason Greenpeace finds the asterisk so appalling is because they’re ignorant. This is what restaurants do for endangered fish species, such as the patagonian toothfish. Of course calling greenpeace ignorant these days is beyond redundant.

    They asterisk the fish, not to boast, but to warn customers that the fish is endangered, and that you might want to order something else. Customers who care will make conscientious decisions, while customers who desire that particular dining experience are also satisfied. This lets people make their own decisions, instead of the restaurant playing Food Police all the time.

  18. ben

    Well, who really loses if these fish are driven to extinction? Not the fish, they’re dead. It’s all the idiots who were capitalizing off of them… there goes your cash cow.

    So eat up, you non-forward thinking imbeciles.

  19. Ace

    “My guess is that De Niro’s restaurant chain will suffer a serious decline in business because of Greenpeace’s sting operation.”

    Good thing you are a moron and a bad guesser. Blue Fin tastes fucking good!

  20. kp

    Honeslty greenpeace u b*****ds what the hell okay so the fish is not illegal to sell so now what you want to be up De Niro’s a** cause his selling it..OKAY ..what will you do if I sell it?..wait let me answer that for you..>NOTHING>.you wouldnt do SH*T ..why..probably because I dont have the money you want..I support animal shelters I support nature as a whole..but you guys..you guys are *SOMETIMES* a**holes..why? I dont know.. but why do you guys have to do a STING operation to see what an actors restaurant is selling..eff the restaurant next to that was probably selling Bull testicles..you guys dont give two shit about the fish o’er money..

  21. Chris Beard

    “My guess is that De Niro’s restaurant chain will suffer a serious decline in business because of Greenpeace’s sting operation.”

    You seem to have an over inflated view of Greenpeace’s relevance. This got some views on Digg, but will be forgotten by the “world community” this time tomorrow.

  22. eric

    from the article: “I guess you have about the same size backbone as the fish you are serving, Mr. Notar.”

    have you ever seen a tuna? Mr. Notar must have a HUGE backbone.

  23. Lady D 71

    It’s fish it was meant to be eaten what’s the big deal? If it were any other animal in danger of extinction I would say something but this is silly. Of course I wouldn’t have put it on the menu as tuna who cares if it’s blue fin or not? Believe the flavor is practically identical. The problem is that nowadays people can’t leave celebrities in peace for at least 5 minutes and there is ALWAYS something that they will be guilty of. I mean really GET A LIFE!!

  24. Charlotte

    I think they should ban fishing for it – what good will an asterisk do? Not to sound too derogatory to the type of people who can afford to eat at Nobu but I would have thought that it’s rarity would make it even more desirable, pah

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