Price of bluefin tuna falls at Tokyo auction

torek, 14. januar 2014

Restaurateur pays £43,000 for 230kg fish, a fraction of the £900,000 record price he paid last year
  • The Guardian
Bluefin tuna
Kiyoshi Kimura with his £43,000 fish. Photograph: Kimimasa Mayama/EPA
Sushi restaurateur Kiyoshi Kimura paid 7.36m yen (£43,000) for a 230kg (507lb) bluefin tuna in the year's celebratory first auction at Tokyo's Tsukiji market on Sunday – just 5% of what he paid a year earlier despite signs that the species is in serious decline.
Kimura's record bid last year of Y154.4m (£900,000) for a 222kg fish drew complaints that prices had soared way out of line, even for an auction that has always drawn high bids.
Kimura also set the previous record of 56.4m yen at the 2012 auction. The high prices do not necessarily reflect exceptional quality.
"I'm glad that the congratulatory price for this year's bid went back to being reasonable," said Kimura, whose Kiyomura company operates the Sushi Zanmai restaurant chain.
Environmentalists say growing worldwide consumption of bluefin tuna is leading to its depletion, and that those in charge of managing fisheries for the species are failing to act to protect it.
Japanese people eat about 80% of all bluefin tuna caught worldwide, though demand is growing as others acquire a taste for the tender, pink and red flesh of the fish.
Stocks of the Pacific, Southern and Atlantic bluefin tuna have fallen over the past 15 years amid overfishing. Stocks of bluefin caught in the Atlantic and Mediterranean fell by 60% between 1997 and 2007 due to rampant, often illegal, overfishing and lax quotas. Although there has been some improvement in recent years, experts say the outlook for the species is still fragile.

Zagotavlja Blogger.