Friday, 6 January 2012

A bluefin tuna caught off north-eastern Japan fetched a record 56.49 million yen, or just under £500k, in the first auction of the year at Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market

The winning bidder, Kiyoshi Kimura, president of the Sushi-Zanmai restaurant chain, said he wanted to give Japan a boost after last year's devastating tsunami. "Japan has been through a lot in the last year due to the disaster," Kimura told AP Television News. "Japan needs to hang in there. So I tried hard myself and ended up buying the most expensive one."

Last year's (2011) bid winners were Hong Kong entrepreneur Ricky Cheng, who runs the Hong Kong-based chain Itamae Sushi, and an upscale Japanese restaurant in Tokyo's Ginza district.
Kimura also said he wanted to keep the fish in Japan "rather than let it get taken overseas."

This year's record tuna was caught off Oma, just north of the tsunami-battered coast.

Bluefin tuna is prized for its tender red meat. The best slices of fatty bluefin - called 'o-toro' - can sell for 2,000 yen (£15) per piece at tony Tokyo sushi bars.

Japanese eat 80 per cent of the Atlantic and Pacific bluefins caught - the most sought-after by sushi lovers. Japanese fishermen, however, face growing calls for tighter fishing rules amid declining tuna stocks worldwide

In November 2010, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas voted to cut the bluefin fishing quota in the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean by about four percent, from 13,500 to 12,900 metric tons annually. It also agreed on measures to try to improve enforcement of quotas on bluefin. The decision was strongly criticised by environmental groups, which hoped to see bluefin fishing slashed or suspended

Delicacy ... pieces of bluefin tuna sell in sushi restaurants for £15

chefs hold a slice of the tuna at the Sushi Zanmai restaurant in Tokyo

£500,000 bluefin tuna...

credits: google/ various info


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