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Sunday, January 06, 2013

Bluefin Tuna record broken at one fish for $1.76 million

The Annual Bluefin Tuna Record Breaking Auction just took place at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo. I say it that way because every year restauranteurs from either Japan or Hong Kong bid one tuna to a record high media grabbing publicity stunt of a price. This coincides with the first auction of the year. It's more of a Japan vs China thing than an actual market driven auction.

The high bidder gets more than an overpriced tuna for his bid. Along with it comes worldwide free advertising on every TV station, newspaper, magazine, website, social media network and smartphone. Pretty cheap when you consider it in perspective.

The restaurant that purchased the tuna would have to sell the sashimi for about $96 a slice just to break even.

Bluefin tuna isn't suddenly worth all kinds of crazy money. The real price of bluefin is around $9 per pound to a high of $15. Unfortunately this annual publicity stunt hurts the fishery. Many fishermen think the next bluefin they kill could buy them an early retirement. This puts unnecessary pressure on the already over fished giant bluefin stocks.

The high priced bluefin was caught off northeastern Japan in the waters contaminated by the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Keep in mind that five months after the nuclear accident, bluefin tuna off the Californian coast were found to be contaminated from the Japanese nuclear facility. And that was after swimming 6200 miles across the Pacific.

In other accounts of this recording setting price you'll find mention of the restaurant's and owner's names. I deliberately left out that information. No need to further encourage the exploitation of a threatened over-fished species. 

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