Jiro Ono, the Japanese sushi maker that’s considered by many to be the greatest sushi maker in history, whose creations were recently enjoyed by President Barack Obama himself, issued a stark warning on Tuesday, saying that many of the ingredients that’re traditionally used in sushi may soon become hard to obtain, or even impossible, due to overfishing.
“I can’t imagine at all that sushi in the future will be made of the same materials we use today,” Ono said Tuesday at an event at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan, as quoted by Salon. “I told my young men three years ago sushi materials will totally change in five years, and now, such a trend is becoming a reality little by little.”
Ono is especially worried about the supply of high-quality domestic tuna in Japan, according to Eater. Numerous Japanese sushi dealers have been forced to begin sourcing Bluefin varieties of tuna from the Atlantic Ocean due to the short supply and high demand for tuna as a result of a “global sushi boom.”
This trend isn’t unique to tuna either, or Japan. Many of the ocean’s fisheries are on the brink of collapse as the populations of some of the most well-known fish species plummets. The Pacific Ocean’s population of Bluefin tuna is now just 8% of its original level, prompting the body that monitors them to suggest drastic cuts to catch limits.