A 466-pound Bluefin tuna sold in Tokyo today for about $632,000: the second-highest price ever paid for the famous fish at the annual New Year auction that takes place in the city’s Tsukiji market. Granted, that figure pales into comparison to the record-setting $1.76 million paid back in 2013, but frankly, I get pretty impressed anytime a fish sells for more than a house regardless of any qualifiers.
According to NBC News, the lucky (if that’s the right word) bidder was Kiyoshi Kimura, owner of Kiyomura Corp, the company behind the Sushi Zanmai chain and a regular winner at the yearly auction. The price of the catch breaks down to about $85 an ounce, so don’t be surprised if you see some super-pricey rolls popping up at Sushi Zanmai in the near future.
But though paying over half-a-million dollars for a Bluefin tuna may seem crazy, experts warn that the species itself could be paying and even bigger price: Bluefins are in danger of going extinct. “This tuna is being fished at rates up to three times higher than scientists say is sustainable,” Amanda Nickson, director of global tuna conservation at The Pew Charitable Trusts, was quoted as saying by NBC. Pew is just one of many environmental groups suggesting a two-year moratorium on fishing the coveted marine animal.
So when you put it in those terms, maybe paying $632,000 isn’t so nuts. I mean, how much would you pay to eat a dinosaur? Actually, don’t answer that question: I don’t want to know.