January 6, 2013

One tuna fish, sold for $1,763,000.

It weighed 489 pounds, which is $3,603 a pound. Sliver it into nearly weightless sashimi, and presumably customers won't choke on the price.

13 comments:

Shouting Thomas said...

Hard to comprehend how this is economically viable, or even desirable.

Must be something unique to Japanese culture that I cannot understand.

Sorta thing that I look at and wonder: "Why are they doing that?"

AprilApple said...

The fish was last seen swimming outside of a faulty nuclear power plant and just downstream from one of China's toxic river deltas.

Mitchell the Bat said...

Ashley Dupré was better looking and a hell of a lot cheaper.

Darrell said...

Getting it fresh to the Obamas will double that price.

Paco Wové said...

"Hard to comprehend how this is economically viable, or even desirable."

It's neither. It is just a symptom of bluefin being fished to extinction (as noted in the article).

Michael said...

Many years ago when driving in Nova Scotia I noticed a pickup truck in front that had a huge fish in the back. I followed the truck to a warehouse where it pulled into the building. I parked and went and knocked on the door and was greeted by a man in a lab coat who invited me in to have a look at the great fish, a bluefin Tuna. The fish was already on what looked like an operating table and its head was already off and what appeared to be a man was half inside the fish handing out body parts. The man in the lab coat was with the Canadian fisheries and told me the fish was being sent to Japan via air to be sold at high prices in the Tokyo fish market. The fish could not be consumed in Canada because of its high mercury content. The fish was killed with a shotgun. It was raised with many others in a penned area on the south coast of Nova Scotia in a business enterprise of an American entrepreneur. I read about him later in an article in Fortune magazine.

Clyde said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cedarford said...

The story turned out well, just as long as we embrace the lesson that just as Asia threatens sustainable fisheries, they also threaten the US manufacturing base under "Free Trade for Freedom LOvers".
Unless we look after that area of sustainabilty.

Stopping declining American factory worker populations is as important as saving sharks from finning by Asians or keeping the Bluefin around.
And the Asians actually understand this and think it a good idea to regulate to save jobs and resources. Because left to the Free Market and unregulated Free Trade for Freedom Lovers - unchecked demand and consumer choice would lead to tiger, bluefin and several shark species extinction.

Prior to the Japanese Market though, bluefin was a oily trash fish that was revolting to American palates after being canned and pressure cooked at 260 Deg for 2 hours. So it was selling for 5 cents a pound to pet and animal feed companies as a bycatch trash item. A bigger menhaden. The same tuna mentioned in the article was worth about 72,000 times less in 1970.

But when the prices for fresh tuna were realized with jet transport...that set off a huge "gold rush" of factory ships unregulated, now chasing what before only sports fishermen had cherished as an ultimate game fish.
Capitalism went too far, the species was threatened, government had to rein in the freedom lovers - while at the same time keeping the great commercial value of a natural resource going on a sustained yield basis with a margin to allow for bluefin recovery from the free market danger.

A salutory lesson that can and should be applied to ou China trade.

Clyde said...

"Sorry, Charlie. Sushi Zanmai don't want tunas with good taste; Sushi Zanmai wants tunas that taste good!"

Or something like that!

ironrailsironweights said...

Tuna is popular for sushi not just because of the taste, but also because it is the least wormy of all fish.

Peter

edutcher said...

Yes, but it still wouldn't taste as good in a sandwich as when your mom made it.

EDH said...

Tony Montana: Why don't you try sticking your tail fin up your gill? See if it fits.

KLDAVIS said...

It was purchased by a large Tokyo chain, the same who paid the previous record at last year's first auction. They intend to sell it in their shops at the normal rate for blue fin. It's a marketing effort, and a loss-leader. There's no way that fish is worth a couple hundred dollars an ounce, but it is symbolic as the first of the year, and having a reputation as the company that pays top dollar for the best fish is certainly worth losing a bit of money on one fish...