January 06, 2011
$400K Bluefin Tuna Breaks Sales Record
By Joe Cermele
Hey, have you heard this one? Guy walks into a Japanese fish market and says, "I got a 754-pound bluefin tuna out here. What's it worth?" The fish market proprietor says, "Gee, there are hardly any wild bluefin that big left in the world. How about $400,000?" This is precisely what happened yesterday at Japan's Tsukiji Fish Market.
Do the math and this bluefin priced out at about $530 a pound, making it the most expensive tuna ever sold at auction. For some perspective, it's worth exactly as much as a. Prior to this catch, the most expensive tuna ever bought was back in 2001, and it brought in roughly $240,000.
OK, a single fish worth $400K is impressive. But ultimately I find it pretty sad. It's just a fish, not a dune buggy signed by the members of Def Leppard. That much money could feed a lot of people for a long time. This bluefin will be consumed by relatively few, and relatively quickly at that in a handful of restaurants. Everyone loves to eat tuna, but according to this article from Time, Japan consumes 80% of the dwindling bluefins that come to market. They are sushi fiends!
To invent something like sushi, you must have been adventurous at some point. I mean somebody was the first to try raw cuddlefish and salmon eggs. So Japan, why not keep up that creativity? Perhaps we can interest you in some snakeheads or Asian carp. How do you know they wouldn't be the best things for the sushi market since, well, bluefin tuna? We'll cut you a super-sweet deal on shipping, and even throw in some zebra mussels.