Bluefin tuna auctioned for more than United States dollars 600000 at Tsukiji market

Brittany BishopJan 06, 2017

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 New Year's auction in 2016 was expected to be the last at the Tsukiji market, as it was scheduled to be relocated to the Toyosu district of Tokyo in November.

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

Kimura posed for the cameras in front of his Sushi-Zanmai restaurant chain, and performed his ritual slicing of the big tuna in preparation for his customers arriving. According to the Guardian, he said that the fish was "a bit expensive, but I am happy that I was able to successfully win at auction a tuna of good shape and size".

The winning bid for the first tuna on the market past year was just 14 million yen.

Many environmental experts fear that overfishing could cause the animal to go extinct.

While pricey - $2,981 per kilogram - it falls short of the record auction price set in 2013: $1.76 million for a single bluefin.

Every year, worldwide media hype attends the year's opening auction at Tsukiji, which "handled more than $4 billion in fish and produce in 2014" alone, according to The Wall Street Journal.

While not endangered like the Atlantic bluefin, conservationists have called for a two-year moratorium on fishing a species whose population has dipped 97 percent due to years of overfishing. "Short-term profits are being put ahead of long-term conservation".

But it is not all celebration over the auction of the Pacific bluefin tuna.

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