The SeaWeb and Natural Resources Defense Council’s “Give Swordfish A Break Campaign” is officially over. SeaWeb executive director Vikki Spruill said that in light of recent government actions, the campaign was halted and declared that eating swordfish is “now a personal choice.” The real reason the swordfish campaign is over is a little more interesting. First of all, according to the U.S. government, swordfish were never endangered in the first place. Further, many of the restaurants who supposedly supported SeaWeb’s campaign “were put on the list without their official approvals,” according to the Washington Post.
Last year, the Post surveyed 78 Washington, D.C. restaurants which SeaWeb claimed supported the swordfish boycott only to find: “About a quarter of the restaurateurs said they do indeed serve swordfish. Some said they had participated in the campaign for a short while, but then reneged after customers asked for swordfish or because they thought the ban was over. A couple of restaurateurs didn’t remember signing a pledge. A couple more thought it was all right to serve steaks from large, mature swordfish.
“Even among the majority who had stopped serving it, things weren’t always clear-cut. A few restaurateurs said they joined the campaign but had taken swordfish off their menus for other reasons. A couple more said that they had never served swordfish in the first place or that it had been offered as a special and so was never a big part of their menu anyway. A few more said they were having second thoughts about continuing their participation.” (“Saga of the swordfish campaign,” The Washington Post, 4/14/99)