The record price stands as proof that the species is affected by overfishing, experts say
This past Saturday, a run-off-the-mill bluefin tuna sold for a whopping $1.76 million (about €1.34 million). The fish was auctioned off in Tokyo, Japan, and the man who got to take it home, Kiyoshi Kimura, says that it was well worth the rather spicy price.Kiyoshi Kimura is presently the man in charge of running a restaurant chain named Sushi Zanmai, and his taking the decision to purchase this $1.76 million bluefin tuna is regarded as many as nothing more and nothing less than a publicity stunt.
Mongabay informs us that this was the first auction of this kind organized by Japanese fish markets since the beginning of the year 2013, and that fish sold at such auctions are known to score higher than normal prices.
However, the bluefin tuna bought by Kiyoshi Kimura turned out to be nearly three times more expensive than the one sold in the same manner only last year.
Because of this, environmentalists and conservationists saw fit to draw attention to the fact that, all things considered, future tunas might sell for even more money, simply because their population is currently threatened by overfishing.
As estimates released by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas show, the worldwide bluefin tuna population has pretty much plunged over the past few decades, which is why efforts must be made to allow this species to make a comeback.
In other words: this tuna cost three times more than the one auctioned off last year because fewer representatives of this species are left to inhabit our oceans, and next year's tuna might sell for even more money provided that nothing is done to put a leash on Japan's sushi demand and/or find more sustainable ways of satisfying customers' wants.
This overpriced tuna weighed 489 pounds (roughly 222 kilograms), which means that just one pound of its flesh cost $3,603.
Soon after it was purchased, the bluefin tuna was chopped up and made its way into Sushi Zanmai's menu.