Find a list of your saved stories here

Bluefin goes for $3 million at 1st 2019 sale at Tokyo market

Bluefin goes for $3 million at 1st 2019 sale at Tokyo market


13 photos
Save Story

Save stories to read later


Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

TOKYO (AP) — A 612-pound (278-kilogram) bluefin tuna sold for a record 333.6 million yen ($3 million) at the first auction of 2019, after Tokyo's famed Tsukiji market was moved to a new site on the city's waterfront.

The winning bid for the prized but threatened species at the predawn auction Saturday was more than double the 2013 annual New Year auction.

It was paid by Kiyomura Corp., whose owner, Kiyoshi Kimura, runs the Sushi Zanmai chain. Kimura has often won the annual auction in the past.

Japanese broadcaster NHK showed a beaming Kimura saying that he was surprised by the high price of tuna this year. But he added, "The quality of the tuna I bought is the best."

The auction prices are way above usual for bluefin tuna. The fish normally sells for up to $40 a pound ($88 a kilogram), but the price rises to over $200 a pound near the year's end, especially for prized catches from Oma in northern Japan.

Last year's auction was the last at Tsukiji before the market shifted to a new facility on a former gas plant site on Tokyo Bay. The move was delayed repeatedly due to concerns over soil contamination.

Japanese are the biggest consumers of the torpedo-shaped bluefin tuna, and surging consumption here and overseas has led to overfishing of the species. Experts warn it faces possible extinction, with stocks of Pacific bluefin depleted by 96 percent from their pre-industrial levels.

"The celebration surrounding the annual Pacific bluefin auction hides how deeply in trouble this species really is," said Jamie Gibbon, associate manager for global tuna conservation at The Pew Charitable Trusts.

There are signs of progress toward protecting the bluefin, and Japan and other governments have backed plans to rebuild Pacific bluefin stocks, with a target of 20 percent of historic levels by 2034.

Decades-old Tsukiji was one of Japan's most popular tourist destinations as well as the world's biggest fish market. The new market opened in October. A few businesses stayed in Tsukiji, but nearly all of the 500-plus wholesalers and other businesses shifted to Toyosu.

Tsukiji is due to be redeveloped, though for now it's being turned into a parking lot for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos

Most recent Business stories

Related topics

Business
The Associated Press

    STAY IN THE KNOW

    Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the KSL.com Trending 5.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast