Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market held the first tuna auction in 2008 on early Saturday (Jan 5), with a 276-kg bluefin tuna caught off Aomori Prefecture sold for a five-year high of 6.07 million yen.

First tuna auction at Tsukiji fish market in 2008
Tsukiji’s tuna auction

A Hong Kong-based sushi restaurant chain won the bluefin tuna with the highest price; its price per kg came to 22,000 yen (~ $200).

The record-high price was 20.2 million yen (~ $185,000), or 100,000 yen ($900+) per kg, set in 2001 for a 202kg tuna caught in the same waters off Oma, the northernmost town on Japan’s main island.

It is becoming increasingly difficult for Japan, the world’s biggest tuna-consuming country, to secure a stable supply of the fish with amid tightening controls on catches and rising fuel costs for fishing boats…

The international catch quota for bluefin tuna is being gradually reduced to preserve tuna resources; while higher fuel costs following a record-breaking surge in crude oil prices have forced an increasing number of Japanese fishing boats to discontinue the tuna harvest. [Kyodo]

The Tsukiji fish market (築地市場, Tsukiji shijō), formally known as The Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market, is the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world. The market is located in Tsukiji in central Tokyo, and is a major tourist attraction for foreign visitors.


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