Bluefin tuna are rapidly falling victim to overfishing, and as their populations decline, the prices they fetch go up. Most recently, a massive bluefin tuna sold for a record amount in Tokyo.
According to Huffington Post, the tuna was caught off the coast of northeastern Japan and sold for 56.49 million yen, or around $736,000 USD. The 593 pound fish sold for $1,238 per pound at the first auction of the year at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, which is also a record according to Tsukiji official Yutaka Hasegawa. The buyer was Kiyoshi Kimura, the owner of a sushi restaurant chain who says he bought the fish to “liven up Japan” after the devastation caused by the tsunami last year.
Despite the decline in bluefin numbers and continued overfishing by trawlers and longlines, bluefin tuna have been excluded from the endangered species list established by the NOAA, and have instead been labeled a “species of concern.” Many conservationists warn that the slowly-maturing bluefin tuna are unable to reproduce fast enough to recover from our depletion of their populations.