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Japan Bluefin Tuna Sells For $1.76 Million, Draws Criticism

Bluefin Tuna Record Auction 2013

A bluefin tuna in Japan has fetch a record $1.76 million. The rare bluefin was being sold through a Tokyo auction on Saturday afternoon. The sale price for the endangered species was nearly three times higher than the record set in 2012.

The 489-pound tuna was caught off the northeastern Japanese shore. The fish will be used to create expensive sushi and sashimi. In some cases the fatty bluefin meat will fetch upwards of $24 per piece at Tokyo sushi bars.

The per pound price for the bluefin tuna is approximately $3603.

Bluefin tuna is quickly becoming an endangered species as 80 percent of its catches are consumed by residents in Japan who value the raw meat.

Kiyoshi Kimura, president of Kiyomura Co., purchased the tuna. Kimura’s Sushi-Zanmai restaurant chain will deliver the bluefin tuna to its customers. After the auction the sushi bar owner admitted “the price was a bit high.” Kimura was also responsible for setting 2012’s record when he purchased bluefin Tuna for 56.4 million at New Years actuion.

Amanda Nickson, the director of the Washington-based Pew Environmental Group’s global tuna conservation campaign tells NBC News:

“Everything we’re hearing is that there’s no good news for the Pacific Bluefin. We’re seeing a very high value fish continue to be overfished.”

The Pacific Bluefin isn’t the only species in danger of extinction, the Southern Bluefin has lost 3 to 8 percent of its population in recent years.

Bluefin tuna are now monitored under strict catch limits after the 48 member nations of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas met in November 2012 and voted to maintain strict limits.

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