Entries in Bluefin Tuna (2)


Bluefin Tuna Sells for Record $736K at Toyko Fish Market

YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images(TOKYO) -- If the price of premium tuna is any indication of the country’s economic state, then Japan’s finances are in good order for 2012.

At Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market a bluefin tuna caught off the northern coast of Japan fetched a record 56.49 million yen, or $736,000, at the first auction of the year.  Divided up, the nearly 600 pound tuna costs $1,238 per pound.

The winning bid went to Kiyoshi Kimura, president of Kiyomura Co., which operates a popular sushi restaurant chain. He beat out rival Hong Kong restaurateur Ricky Cheng, who had the winning bid the previous two years.

Cheng broke a 10-year record last year, when he shelled out $369,000 for a giant fish, caught off the coast of Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido.

“Instead of taking the fish overseas, I wanted the Japanese to eat quality tuna,” Kimura said. “The March 11 disasters and economic downturn [have hurt this country] but I wanted to lift spirits, and encourage others to help boost Japan’s economy, together.”

The tuna was caught off of Oma, in Aomori Prefecture, just north of the region devastated by the earthquake and tsunami.

The record-breaking price comes as Japanese wholesalers face growing calls for tighter fishing rules amid a rapid decline in global bluefin tuna stock. The Japanese consume 80 percent of the world’s Pacific and Atlantic bluefin.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


A Real Fish Story: Bluefin Tuna Is Auctioned for Record $396,000

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(TOKYO) -- For a pair of restaurant owners, it was the fish that did not get away, but they had to pay a record $396,000 to land it.

The record price was paid for a 754-pound bluefin tuna -- roughly $526 a pound -- that will be served up as sushi to customers in Tokyo and Hong Kong.

"I was so nervous before the auction began," said Hong Kong restaurant owner Ricky Cheng. "I'm just so relieved I got the fish."

High-end Japanese sushi restaurant Kyubey split the cost. Owner Yosuke Imada admitted "he went a little over budget."

The giant tuna was caught off the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido and was one of 538 shipped in from around the world for the first auction of the year at Tokyo's Tsukiji Fish Market, where tuna are known to fetch high prices.

Tuna traditionally sell for higher prices at the first auction of the year known as the "celebratory market." But the fish sold Wednesday broke a 10 year record. A 445-pound bluefin sold for roughly $225,000 in 2001.

Market officials celebrated the new record at a time when Japanese wholesalers face growing calls for tighter fishing rules, as global stock for bluefin tuna declines rapidly. The Japanese consume 80 percent of the world's Pacific and Atlantic bluefin.

The fish are the most popular among sushi connoisseurs, and sushi made from the premium fatty bluefin can cost about $24 a piece at some Japanese restaurants.

In November, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas voted to cut the bluefin fishing quota in the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean from 13,500 to 12,900 metric tons annually -- about a four percent reduction. It also agreed on measures to try to improve enforcement of quotas on bluefin.

The decision was strongly criticized by environmental groups, which hoped to see bluefin fishing slashed or suspended.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio