Bluefin tuna nets $632,000 at annual Japanese auction

Big Fish: Sushi Boss Forks Over $632K for a Single Tuna

A sushi chain boss paid $632,000 for a 466-pound bluefin tuna at auction on Thursday.
The 74.2 million yen winning bid for the prized but imperiled species was the second highest ever after a record 155.4 million yen bid in 2013 at the annual New Year auction at the famed Tsukiji market.

Kiyomura Corp. owner Kiyoshi Kimura posed, beaming, with the gleaming, man-sized fish, which was caught off the coast of northern Japan's Aomori prefecture.

His company, which runs the Sushi Zanmai chain, often wins the auction. This year's purchase works out to $1,356 per pound.

Japanese are the biggest consumers of the torpedo-shaped bluefin tuna, and surging consumption of sushi has boosted demand, as experts warn the species could go extinct.

A report by the International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific Ocean last year put the population of bluefin tuna at 2.6 percent of its "unfished" size, down from an earlier assessment of 4.2 percent.

The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission tightened international limits in 2015 as the species remained under threat, halving the catch of bluefin tuna under 30 kilograms (66 pounds) from the average caught between 2002 and 2004.

But overfishing has continued and in some areas bluefin are harvested at triple the levels considered sustainable.

"This tuna is being fished at rates up to three times higher than scientists say is sustainable," Amanda Nickson, director of global tuna conservation at The Pew Charitable Trusts said in a recent report.

Pew and a dozen other environmental groups have called for a two-year moratorium on commercial fishing of the species.

Thursday's event is expected to be the last New Year's auction at the world's biggest fish market.

It was supposed to be relocated last November to make way for a road needed for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, but was delayed due to environmental concerns.

© Kiyoshi Kimura, president of the Sushi Zanmai restaurant chain, poses with a 466-pound bluefin

A $632,000 tuna? Man buys massive Bluefin tuna at auction

A massive bluefin tuna went for a cool $632,000 at an auction in Tokyo on Thursday.

Kiyomura Corp. owner Kiyoshi Kimura paid 74.2 million yen for the 466-pound fish at the annual New Year auction at the Tsukiji market, AP reported.

Kimura is a sushi chain owner, who often wins the auction.

The Japanese continue to be the biggest consumers of bluefin tuna, a species that many environmental experts say could go extinct due to extreme overfishing.

The massive bluefin tuna was caught off the coast of northern Japan.


Bluefin tuna goes for $632,000 in 1st Tsukiji auction of '17

TOKYO –  A Japanese sushi chain boss bid a winning 74.2 million yen ($632,000) Thursday for a 212 kilogram (466 pound) bluefin tuna in what may be Tsukiji market's last auction at its current site in downtown Tokyo.

The winning bid Thursday for the prized but imperiled species was the second highest ever after a record 155.4 million yen bid in 2013 at the annual New Year auction. This year's price was $2,981 per kilogram, compared with about $7,930 per kilogram for the 2013 record-setting auction price.

Kiyomura Corp. owner Kiyoshi Kimura posed, beaming, after the predawn New Year auction with the gleaming, man-sized fish, which was caught off the coast of northern Japan's Aomori prefecture. His company, which runs the Sushi Zanmai chain, often wins the annual auction.

Last year's New Year auction was supposed to be the last at Tsukiji's current location. The shift to a new facility on Tokyo Bay was delayed due to soil contamination at the former gas plant site.

Japanese are the biggest consumers of the torpedo-shaped bluefin tuna, and surging consumption of sushi has boosted demand, as experts warn the species could go extinct.

A report by the International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific Ocean last year put the population of bluefin tuna at 2.6 percent of its "unfished" size, down from an earlier assessment of 4.2 percent.

The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission tightened international limits in 2015 as the species remained under threat, halving the catch of bluefin tuna under 30 kilograms from the average caught between 2002 and 2004.

But overfishing has continued and in some areas bluefin are harvested at triple the levels considered sustainable.

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