January 7, 2012
Record Bluefin Tuna Told For $736,000 In Japan
A bluefin tuna has been sold for $736,000 in Tokyo, almost doubling the previous record holder from 2011.
Market official Yutaka Hawegawa said the 539-pound tuna set a record for price by weight. The total price translates to $1,238 per pound.
The tuna was caught off Oma, just north of the area that suffered from the March 11, 2011 tsunami.
The winning bidder was Kiyoshi Kimura, an owner of a sushi restaurant chain. Kimura told reporters the bid was an effort to "liven up Japan" and help it on the road to recovery.
He said he wanted to keep the fish in Japan "rather than let it get taken overseas."
Japan is the world's biggest consumer of seafood, eating about 80 percent of the Atlantic and Pacific bluefins caught.
Last year, a 752-pound tuna sold for nearly $400,000, setting a record back then. The first auction in January at the famous fish market in Tokyo is an important part of Japan's New Year celebrations.
Bluefin tuna can be sold at Sushi restaurants in Japan for nearly $24 per piece. The new record-breaking Tuna could cost as much as $96 per piece.
The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) voted to cut the bluefin fishing quota in the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean by about 4 percent in November 2010.
The ICC also agreed on measured to try and improve enforcement of quotas on bluefin.
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