A can of tuna normally costs somewhere between one and three bucks. Brands that tote wild-caught, mercury-free fish will likely be a little more expensive than, say, your run-of-the-mill Bumble Bee Tuna. What’s currently blowing our minds, though, is that a single 466-pound bluefin tuna just sold for $632,000 at a Japanese New Year auction.
The Tsukiji Market, for lack of a better term, is a big bass (yes, there’s a “b” on there) fish market held in central Tokyo. Not only is Tsukiji the planet’s largest fish market, but it’s also the biggest wholesale food market of any type, fishy or otherwise.
If you’ve seen Jiro Dreams of Sushi, or if you have ever taken an anthropology class in contemporary Japanese society, you probably already know what Tsukiji is.
Going along with the theme of “large,” Kiyoshi Kimura, owner of the popular Japanese sushi chain Sushi Zanmai, purchased a bluefin tuna for $632,000 at a recent New Year auction held at Tsukiji. That’s about $1,356 per pound – which is still not the highest bid ever.
If you thought that was crazy, you should hear what he did in 2013.
This morning, Kiyoshi Kimura, the owner of the restaurant chain Sushi Zanmai, paid the highest amount at the year's first auction: 14 million yen (approximately $118,000) for a 200 kg tuna! In 2013, Kiyoshi Kimura had paid a record $ 154.4 million yen for a 222 kg tuna 😳 Photo credit: Tomohiro Ohsumi #tuna #kiyoshikimura #sushi #tsukiji #tsukijimarket #sushizenmai #poisson #thon #fish #auction #fishauction #tokyo #japan #visitjapan #explorejapan #explore_japan ##explorejapon #japon #voyagejapon #traveljapan #japantrip
According to NPR, Kimura purchased “a bluefin tuna big enough to serve up about 10,000 pieces of sushi” for $1.76 million. Further, they went on to say that that “equates to about $3,600 per pound for the 489-pound fish.”
NBC News reports that this year’s lavishly priced fish only “works out to $1,356 per pound,” which is less than half of the massive 2013 specimen.
While they also touch on a recent trend toward over-fishing in that piece, an important issue that becomes more and more dire with each passing day, we’re stuck in the present moment as it stands.
How on earth could a fish ever cost $632,000, let alone $1.76 million?