Bluefin Tuna Sells for $1.8M

Tokyo auction shatters previous record

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 5, 2013 7:24 AM CST

(Newser) – If last year's record price of $736,000 seemed high for a bluefin tuna, then this year's new mark will be even harder to fathom: The owner of a Japanese restaurant chain paid $1.8 million at an annual Tokyo auction, reports the BBC. Even he thought it seemed a "bit high" for the 489-pound fish—about $3,600 a pound—now destined for sushi and sashimi plates.

The auction helps kick off the new year, and the high prices are more publicity stunt than an indication of quality fish, explains the AP. Meanwhile, the Pew Environmental Group is coming out with numbers on Monday that will show a continued sharp decline in bluefin stocks. "Everything we're hearing is that there's no good news for the Pacific bluefin," says a group member. "We're seeing a very high-value fish continue to be overfished."

People look at a bluefin tuna displayed at Sushi Zanmai restaurant in Tokyo Saturday.   (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
A bluefin tuna is carried to the Sushi Zanmai restaurant near Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo.   (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)
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