Kiyoshi Kimura, president of Kiyomura Co., poses with a bluefin tuna in front of his Sushi Zanmai restaurant near Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo Saturday, 5 January 2013. The tuna sold for a record $1.76 million at a Tokyo auction Saturday, nearly three times the previous high set in 2012. Shuji Kajiyama / AP Photo

By MALCOLM FOSTER
4 January 2013

TOKYO (Associated Press) – A bluefin tuna sold for a record $1.76 million at a Tokyo auction Saturday, nearly three times the previous high set last year.

In the year's first auction at Tokyo's sprawling Tsukiji fish market, a 222-kilogram (489-pound) tuna caught off northeastern Japan sold for 155.4 million yen, said Ryoji Yagi, a market official. […]

The price works out to a stunning 700,000 yen per kilogram, or $3,603 per pound. […]

Stocks of bluefin caught in the Atlantic and Mediterranean plunged by 60 percent between 1997 and 2007 due to rampant, often illegal, overfishing and lax quotas. Although there has been some improvement in recent years, experts say the outlook for the species is still fragile.

In November, the 48 member nations of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, or ICCAT, voted to maintain strict catch limits on the species, although some countries argued for higher limits. The quota will be allowed to rise slightly from 12,900 metric tons a year to 13,500. Quotas were as high as 32,000 tons in 2006.

Bluefin tuna sells for record $1.76M in Tokyo

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