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Thu Apr 24 21:12:37 SAST 2014

Bluefin tuna fetches record $736 000 in Japan

Sapa-dpa | 05 January, 2012 08:01
Sushi chefs pose for photographs with a blue fin tuna. File picture
Image by: YONHAP / REUTERS

A huge bluefin tuna fetched a record 56.49 million yen (736,000 dollars) Thursday at the year’s first auction at Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market, amid growing fears that the fish’s popularity across Asia and overfishing could drive the species to extinction.

The 269-kilogramme tuna, the largest among the 274 shipped in from  around the world, valued at 210,000 yen per kilogramme, will be sold to Sushi Zanmai, a major sushi-restaurant chain in the country.

“I wanted people in Japan, not those abroad, to eat the number-one tuna,” company president Kiyoshi Kimura was quoted by Jiji Press as saying.

The tuna caught in Oma on the northern tip of Japan’s main island Honshu easily beat the previous record, set a year ago when a 342-kilogramme fish sold for 32.5 million yen.

Japanese are the world’s major consumers of bluefin tuna and its  overfishing has been long criticised overseas.

In July, the International Union for Conservation of Nature classified Atlantic and Southern blue fin tuna in a threatened category, being at serious risk of extinction.

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Thu Apr 24 21:12:37 SAST 2014 ::