Bluefin tuna nets 74 million yen at Tsukiji's New Year auction

06 January, 2017, 00:43 | Author: Celia Hoffman
  • Bluefin tuna nets 74 million yen at Tsukiji's New Year auction

The biggest record was achieved in 2013 when the same fish specimen was bought for 155.4 million yen.

A beaming Kiyoshi Kimura, owner of Kiyomura Corp, posed with the prized fish after winning the predawn New Year auction.

Still, it's not the record for the seafood market's annual first bluefin auction.

Kiyomura Co's President Kiyoshi Kimura (C), who runs a chain of sushi restaurants Sushi Zanmai, poses with a 212 kg (467 lbs) bluefin tuna at his sushi restaurant outside Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, Japan, January 5, 2017. This year's price was the highest since 1999.

Many environmental experts fear that overfishing could cause the animal to go extinct.

The New Year fish auction could be the last at Tsukiji, which was supposed to be relocated last November to make way for a road for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

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In response, global fishing regulators tightened worldwide limits in 2015, halving the amount of bluefin tuna under 30 kilograms that was caught compared to the average caught between 2002 and 2004.

Watch our video to get a sense of what it's like at the world's largest fish market during the auction.

Last July, the the Pew Charitable Trusts called for a two-year moratorium on commercial fishing of Pacific bluefin, which was backed by other NGOs.

But overfishing has continued and in some areas bluefin are harvested at triple the levels considered sustainable.

Every year, worldwide media hype attends the year's opening auction at Tsukiji, which "handled more than $4 billion in fish and produce in 2014" alone, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The bluefin tuna was traded at 70,000 United States dollars (7.36 million yen) at the wholesale market.

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