Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Expensive Tuna: Why is this Weird?

(AP Photo borrowed from MSNBC.com)

This story has appeared in many places, but MSNBC categorized it as "World news/ Weird news."

Premium tuna fetches $100,000 at auction

Prized bluefish tuna is shared between two bidders at Tokyo market

Two sushi bar owners paid more than $100,000 for a Japanese bluefin tuna at a Tokyo fish auction Monday, several times the average price and the highest in nearly a decade, market officials said.

The 282-pound (128-kilogram) premium tuna caught off the northern coast of Oma fetched 9.63 million yen ($104,700), the highest since 2001, when another Japanese bluefin tuna brought an all-time record of 20 million yen, market official Takashi Yoshida said.

Yoshida said the extravagant purchase — about $370 per pound — went to a Hong Kong sushi bar owner and his Japanese competitor who reached a peaceful settlement to share the big fish. The Hong Kong buyer also paid the highest price at last year's new year event at Tokyo's Tsukiji market, the world's largest fish seller, which holds near-daily auctions.


"It was the best tuna of the day, but the price shot up because of the shortage of domestic bluefin," Yoshida said, citing rough weather at the end of December. Buyers vied for only three Oma bluefin tuna Monday, compared to 41 last year.

Read the whole story at MSNBC.com:

Why is this story classified as "weird?" Is this a case of: Oh, there go those Japanese again overspending on strange fish/food? Certainly it was an expensive tuna, but weird? Not so, I think. Just another case of capitalism run amok...

Anthropologist Ted Bestor has been researching about the globalization of bluefin tuna, sushi, Tsukiji and the fishing industry for some time. Click here to see a preview of his book.

1 comment:

ryan a said...

i agree. not really weird at all. interesting how something like this can get classified in such a way though...