$37,500 Bluefin Tuna: Auction In Tokyo Nets Big Bucks For Huge Tuna

A $37,000 bluefin tuna was sold at an auction in Tokyo. According to the Wall Street Journal, a sushi restaurant owner paid big bucks for the big fish, which he will use in his eateries. And this is nothing new for the man, who participates in these wholesale auctions annually. In 2012, he paid $736,700 for a 507-pound tuna, and in 2013, he forked over nearly $1.8 million for a fish weighing nearly 500 pounds. Clearly the man is able to turn quite a profit from these pricey bargains, and some years are better than others.

“Kiyoshi Kimura, president of Kiyomura Co., has won the year’s first bid for four consecutive years since 2012. He told reporters Monday after his purchase that it was cheaper than he had expected thanks to a successful haul of tuna near the Tsugaru strait this year.”

The $37,500 bluefin tuna was one of the biggest sellers at the morning auction. There were several other fish up for auction, but Mr. Kimura had his eyes set on this particular one. He has been the highest bidder in these auctions for the past four years straight.

Tuna is a staple in many sushi dishes, and the 180 kilogram fish he won this year is going to help out his business in many ways. You see, bluefin tuna is becoming more rare because of its popularity. According to the Indian Express, some fear that the species will be extinct in the not-so-distant future.

“The popularity of tuna for sushi and sashimi has depleted stocks globally. In November, the International Union for Conservation of Nature designated Pacific bluefin as a species threatened by extinction.”

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, overfishing also has a lot to do with that depletion. About 80 percent of the world’s bluefish consumption belongs to Japan. There has been talk of fishing “limits,” but so far there hasn’t been anything put into place to keep bluefins from being caught and sold. With such a high market, people are making a lot of money, which is the driving force behind this issue. It is simple supply and demand at this point.

“According to Amanda Nickson, director of global tuna conversation for the Pew Charitable Trusts, over 90 percent of the fish are caught before they reach reproductive age, and the population of bluefin tuna is also less than 4 percent of what it would be without fishing.”

[Photo courtesy of AP/Eugene Hoshiko via the Indian Express]