The “Take a Pass on Chilean Sea Bass” campaign will roll into Washington, D.C., tomorrow, at which time anti-seafood activists will reveal a list of more than 60 local restaurants that have agreed to remove the dish from their menus.
The U.S. Departments of State and Commerce both say the sea bass is not endangered, and the trumped-up allegations of over-fishing mirror the “Give Swordfish a Break” campaign of several years ago that drew government skepticism — and put many fishermen out of work.
But still, tomorrow activists will stretch out their arms and proclaim to have “caught a list this big” — and they may be stretching the truth as well. During the swordfish effort, “SeaWeb and the Natural Resources Defense Council, the two organizers of the campaign, said they had signed up 700 restaurants from Maine to Florida, including nearly 80 establishments in the Washington area,” The Washington Post reported at the time. But when the paper called 78 of the D.C. restaurants, “about a quarter of the restaurateurs said they do indeed serve swordfish,” some “didn’t remember signing a pledge,” and a few “said that they had never served swordfish in the first place.”