Undercover video footage of Nobu London staff apparently claiming that bluefin tuna is not an endangered species has emerged on the internet, acting as a warning to restaurants to educate their staff properly about fish sustainability.
The video for Don’t Panic magazine shows Nobu staff denying that bluefin tuna, which features on the Japanese restaurant’s menu, is an endangered species, with one waiter claiming that “…everything we sell is from a sustainable source; if it’s not sustainable, it’s not legal to do it, so we would be breaking the law by doing so.”
However, according to WWF , the entire population of breeding bluefin tunas will be wiped out by 2012 if over fishing continues.
The inaccurate comments made by Nobu’s staff has prompted the British Hospitality Association (BHA) to urge restaurateurs to ensure their staff know exactly what they’re serving, so they can explain dishes to customers.
A spokesperson for the BHA said the best restaurants tutor their waiting staff before services.
“It's very important that waiters know exactly what they're serving and can explain the dishes to customers,” he said. “This is getting better but it's something that more restaurants should note. It ranges from knowing the source of the ingredients to the make-up and taste of each dish.”
He particularly warned restaurateurs to ensure staff knew where their fish came from, and whether it’s from a sustainable source.
“Clearly customers are concerned about some fish stocks and want to play their part in their conservation. Waiters and managers should know the source of their ingredients and need to be clear in replying to any customers’ questions.”
Despite pressure from environmental groups and celebrities, Nobu, co-owned by Robert De Niro, has chosen to continue serving bluefin tuna on its menu, although it advises diners to choose alternative fish.
Watch the undercover footage shot at Nobu here.