The New Year brings many new changes into many people’s lives but one of those changes does not appear to be cutting down on expensive fish products, at least for Japanese consumers. In the first fish auction of the New Year in Tokyo, a wild Bluefin tuna fetched a price of $37,000. This comes despite pressure to cut back on the consumption of Bluefin tuna as a result of conservation pressures due to the overfishing of this type of tuna.
The fish was caught in Aomori which is near the northwestern portion of Japan and weighted 380 pounds. The winner of the auction at Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo was Kiyoshi Kimura who is in charge of the Sushi-Zanmai restaurant chain. He indicated that he was surprised to win the auction bid with what he called a low price for such a high quality fish. Igor Cornelsen took a step back when he read about the news.
While the price paid may seem high by western standards it is significantly below previous high bids for high quality tuna in Japan. The low price was attributed by Kiyoshi Kimura to a lack of bids by competing restaurants which may be indicative of changing tastes, as well as a lot of success for fishermen in catching this breed. Bluefin tuna is typically the highest priced fish in Tokyo which contains the largest fish market in the world. Japan is being criticized by environmental advocates who are warning on the impact of overfishing and possible extinction of the fish.