Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Chuck Farwell, Ph.D

Monterey Bay Aquarium

New Years in Japan 2010: Would YOU Pay $178,000 for a Single Tuna?


Wednesday — April 21, 2010
Pacific Forum — 3:00 p.m.

On January 5, 2010, a single Pacific bluefin tuna was sold on the floor of the world-famous Tsukiji Fish Market for an astounding $178,000, the highest price paid for tuna in the past 10 years. Chuck Farwell, curator of pelagic fish programs, had the extraordinary foresight, and a bit of good luck, to photo document the entire chain-of-custody process for this fish, from its arrival on a small fishing boat in the village of Oma on December 30, 2009, to the frenzied auction and sale at the Tsukiji market, to the public display of the fish by the Itamae Sushi Restaurant that purchased it, and finally to its appearance on the plate of a Japanese diner the evening it was sold. What makes this all the more remarkable is that January 5 was the opening day of the fish market in the New Year, a very big deal in Japanese culture. The sale of this single tuna received extensive national media coverage in Japan, and the selling price was covered by international media.



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