A bluefin tuna was put up for auction on Thursday. In the end, a Japanese sushi chain boss was able to win by bidding a whopping 74.2 million yen ($642,000).
Bluefin Tuna: The Auction
The fish, weighing 466 pounds, was auctioned at Tsukiji market in its current site in downtown Tokyo. For Thursday’s winning bid, the endangered species was the second highest after a record 155.4 million yen bid in 2013 during the annual New Year auction.
This time, the price was $2,981 per kilogram. In 2013, it was $7,930 per kilogram for the record-setting auction price, according to AP Big Story.
Kiyoshi Kimura, owner of Kiyomura Corp., posed for photographs after the pre-dawn New Year auction. The photograph shows him with the gigantic man-sized fish, which was caught off the coast of northern Japan’s Aomori prefecture. Reports stated that Kimura’s company, which administers over the Sushi Zanmai chain, has won the annual auction several times.
The Japanese has been mostly consuming this torpedo-shaped fish. The increasing consumption of sushi enhances the demand. However, experts have cautioned that the species could go extinct.
Overfishing is still happening nowadays. There are areas where fishermen harvest the sea creatures at levels considered unhealthy.
Bluefin Tuna: Overfishing Issues
“We have a pretty significant overfishing problem with bluefin tuna,” Lee Crockett from Pew Environment Group told The Salt. “When you sell fish for this amount of money, that exacerbates those problems. You can bet fishermen all over the world are going to say, ‘Boy, I’d like to sell fish for that amount of money.’”
Crockett directed at Pew’s attempts to put a stop to overfishing after Tsukiji’s 2012 auction. In fact, even if the demands for sushi rises every day, regular fishing of this endangered animal is becoming unsustainable, as per the Huffington Post.
The issue of investing more than half a million dollars on one fish is quite something to pay attention to. Several conservationists believe that the annual New Year auction could be solely responsible for the depletion of this species.