Publicado: 01-05-2013 02:32 PM
A bluefin tuna sold for a record £1.09million at a Tokyo auction today, nearly three times the previous high set last year. The fish's tender pink and red meat is prized for sushi and sashimi - and the best slices, known as 'o-toro', can sell for £14 (2,000 yen) per piece at upmarket Japanese sushi bars. Caught off the country's northeastern coast, the 222kg (489lb) tuna was sold at the first auction of the year at Tokyo's sprawling Tsukiji fish market, said market official Ryoji Yagi. That means the price for this year's whopper works out at a stunning £2,230 per pound. The news comes as environmentalists warn that stocks of the majestic, speedy fish are being depleted worldwide amid strong demand for sushi. Japanese eat 80 per cent of the bluefin tuna caught worldwide, and much the global catch is shipped there for consumption. The winning bidder, Kiyoshi Kimura, president of Kiyomura Co., which operates the Sushi-Zanmai restaurant chain, said 'the price was a bit high' but that he wanted to 'encourage Japan', according to Kyodo News agency.
Publicado: 01-05-2013 02:33 PM
The massive catch is being served to his customers this evening. Kimura also set the old record of £430,000 for a bluefin tuna at last year's New Year's auction, which tends to attract high bids as a celebratory way to kick off the new year - or get some publicity. But the high prices don't necessarily reflect exceptionally high fish quality. Stocks of all three bluefin species - the Pacific, Southern and Atlantic - have fallen over the past 15 years amid overfishing. BUILT FOR SPEED: BLUEFIN TUNA The bluefin tuna is one of the largest and fastest fish in the world. On average, it measures 6.5ft in length and weighs 550lb, although much larger specimens are not uncommon. Its torpedo-shaped, streamlined body is built for speed and endurance. In appearance, they are metallic blue on top and silver-white on the bottom which helps camouflage them from above and below. Bluefin meat is considered a delicacy and overfishing has driven their numbers to critically low levels. It has been eaten by humans for centuries and today the Japanese eat 80 per cent of the Atlantic and Pacific bluefins