Record tuna auction in Japan

Close to N$45 million for giant tuna

08 January 2019 | Visserye
KARYN NISHIMURA-POUPEE

A Japanese sushi entrepreneur paid a record US$3.1 million (N$44,6 million) for a giant tuna on Saturday as Tokyo's new fish market, which replaced the world-famous Tsukiji late last year, held its first pre-dawn New Year's auction.

Bidding stopped at a whopping 333.6 million yen for the enormous 278-kilogram (612-pound) fish, an endangered species, that was caught off Japan's northern coast.

Self-styled ‘Tuna King’ Kiyoshi Kimura paid the top price, which doubled the previous record of 155 million yen also paid by him in 2013.

"It's the best tuna. I was able to buy a delicious, super fresh tuna," the sushi restaurant chain owner proudly told reporters.

"The price was higher than originally thought, but I hope our customers will eat this excellent tuna," Kimura said after the auction.

Tsukiji was the world's biggest fish market and a popular tourist attraction in an area packed with restaurants and shops. It was moved in October to Toyosu, a former gas plant a bit further east.

Opened in 1935, Tsukiji was best known for its pre-dawn daily auctions of tuna, caught from all corners of the world, for use by everyone from top Michelin-star sushi chefs to ordinary grocery stores.

Especially at the first auction of the new year, wholesalers and sushi tycoons have been known to pay eye-watering prices for the biggest and best fish.

Despite the relocation, the auction ritual remained intact: before dawn, buyers in rubber boots were inspecting the quality of the giant fresh and frozen tunas by examining the neatly cut tail end with flashlights and rubbing slices between their fingers.

At 5:10 am, hand bells rang to signal the auction was under way and the air filled with the sound of auctioneers yelling prices at buyers, who raised fingers to indicate interest.

In a roar of wholesalers surrounding the day's best tuna, an auctioneer hammered the top price as the Kimura side outbid his rival wholesaler in a thrilling head-to-head battle.

Japan consumes a large portion of the global bluefin tuna catch, a highly prized sushi ingredient known in Japan as "kuro maguro" (black tuna) and dubbed by sushi connoisseurs as the "black diamond" because of its scarcity.

A single piece of "otoro", or the fish's fatty underbelly, can cost dozens of dollars at high-end Tokyo restaurants.

The new market has already opened its auction warehouse to visitors to witness the organised pre-dawn chaos from a balcony, hoping to take over a must-see spot for tourists from Tsukiji.

"Finally, the first New Year auction was held at Toyosu market," said Yoshihiko Otaki, a market official. "We have a lot of tuna here like we did in Tsukiji," he said.

Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike, wearing white rubber boots, said: "I sincerely hope this market will be loved by many people." The relocation was a lengthy and controversial process. Few would contest the fact that Tsukiji was past its prime, and there were concerns about out-dated fire regulations and hygiene controls.

In contrast, the new market, located around two kilometres to the east at Toyosu, boasts state-of-the-art refrigeration facilities and is nearly twice as big again as Tsukiji.

But Toyosu is located on the site of a former gas plant and the soil was found to be contaminated, forcing local authorities to spend millions of dollars to clean it up and delaying the move.

Soortgelyk

 

Padgebruik al duurder

1 uur gelede | Vervoer

Die Padfondsadministrasie (RFA) het ’n 4,3%-verhoging op padgebruik aangekondig, wat van 1 Mei af geld. Dit beteken tariewe by grensposte verhoog, asook tariewe op voertuie...

Padgebruik al duurder

1 uur gelede | Vervoer

Die Padfondsadministrasie (RFA) het ’n 4,3%-verhoging op padgebruik aangekondig, wat van 1 Mei af geld. Dit beteken tariewe by grensposte verhoog, asook tariewe op voertuie...

Gesondheid: Advertensie vals

2 ure gelede | Gesondheid

Die ministerie van gesondheid en maatskaplike dienste (MoHSS) sê 'n inligting wat op sosiale media sirkuleer oor opleidingsgeleenthede by die ministerie is vals. Die vals...

'n Seder val in Swapo

12 ure gelede | Mense

Ronelle Rademeyer - Huldeblyke stroom sedert vroeg gisteroggend in die sosiale media in nadat dit bekend geword het Namibië se voormalige vise­president (2015 – 2018)...

Duitsland gee ou kruis terug

12 ure gelede | Plaaslik

Ronelle Rademeyer - Een van die belangrikste artefakte uit die glorieryke ontdekkersera van die Portugese seevaarders sal in Augustus deur die Duitse museum vir geskiedenis...

Weer vir 20 Mei 2019

12 ure gelede | Weer

WEERWAAK: Koue en winderige toestande word in die Suide verwag. Die nodige voor­sorgmaatreëls moet getref word. BINNELAND: Gedeeltelik bewolk en warm tot baie warm in...

Namport dank 86 werkers af

12 ure gelede | Plaaslik

Die Namibiese haweowerheid, Namport, het Vrydag aangekondig 86 werkers by die vraghouerterminaal by die Walvisbaaise hawe wat in Augustus aan 'n onwettige staking deelgeneem het,...

Speaker dring aan jeug moet by kiesproses betrek word

12 ure gelede | Politiek

Denver Kisting - Die speaker van die Nasio­nale Vergadering (NV), prof. Peter Katjavivi, sê die jeug moet by die verkiesings­proses betrek word.Die uitvoerende hoof van...

'Sam Nujoma is 'n ikoon'

12 ure gelede | Regering

Stigterspresident Sam Nujoma se 90ste verjaardagvieringe is Saterdag op Etunda in die Omusatistreek gevier en deur verskeie hooggeplaastes bygewoon. President Hage Geingob het Nujoma as...