Despite its well established, over-fished status and repeated toxicological demonstrations of dangerously high mercury levels, slices of bluefin tuna are still very much highly prized on menus all over town. Last night, organization Greenpeace staged an action at Nobu in TriBeCa, where activists "dressed in blazers and billowy dresses like any other weekend-night patrons," according to the Times. Keeping with the near-extinction vibe, activists "carried make-believe menus with endangered-species dishes, like 'Rack of Mountain Gorilla Seasoned with Powdered Rhino Horn' ($32.00)." When Nobu's management figured out what was going on, the protesters simply left the restaurant; some apparently "even tipped the wait staff". One activist also claimed to the Times that others had stayed on at the restaurant for an hour more, affixing fake menus to bathroom stall doors.

In 2004, New York City was the first municipality in the U.S. to approve a law (pdf) "making it illegal to buy or sell products containing, or advertised as containing, endangered species." New York City, however, does not consider bluefin tuna endangered or threatened. Greenpeace is calling on Nobu to remove bluefin from its menus worldwide. In London, bluefin appears on the preeminent high-end sushi chain's menus but is paired with an asterisk. Fine print then leads to a sentence at the bottom of the menu that calls bluefin "environmentally challenged," and urges diners to order ask for something instead of tuna, essentially only if they feel like it.

Robert De Niro is an investor at Nobu. A spokesperson for the restaurant said the activists"were disruptive to our guests, so I didn't appreciate it," while Nobu dinner customer told the Times mid-interview that all that tuna talk was making him hungry again. “I might go and get another order,” the diner said. “It was just great.” For more on overfishing, read our interview with Bottomfeeder author Taras Grescoe, or check out the trailer for the upcoming documentary adaptation of Charles Clover's The End of the Line.