The restaurant’s owner, Shigekazu Ozoe, 56, said the current situation reminded him of the last time he had no tuna to sell — in 1973, during a scare over mercury poisoning in oceans when customers refused to buy it. At that time, he tried to find other red-colored substitutes like smoked deer meat and raw horse, a local delicacy in some parts of Japan.
“We tasted it, and horse sushi was pretty good,” he recalled. “It was soft, easy to bite off, had no smell.”
If worse comes to worst, he said, he could always try horse and deer again. The only drawback he remembered was customers objecting to red meat in the glass display case on the counter of his sushi bar.
--Martin Fackler, NYT, on responses to the growing tuna shortage