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Friday, June 4, 2010

World's Most Expensive Fish

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, an enormous Bluefin tuna -- a fish prized as sushi -- sold for a record $173,600 Friday in the first auction of the year at Tokyo's main fish market. At $391 a pound (P 43,010 per kilo), the 444-pound fish was the most expensive auctioned off at the Tsukiji Central Fish Market in years. In 1996, a 250-pound Bluefin fetched $44,100.

Called Honmaguro in Japanese, Bluefin tuna is popularly served raw as sashimi or sushi in restaurants where a plate of slices can command a bill of more than $100. Both fish were caught in the Pacific Ocean off Aomori Prefecture in northern Japan, an area known for the quality of its tuna.
The buyer however, declined to be identified, but speculated that he may have been willing to pay a premium because the fish auctioned Friday was the first catch put on the block this year. Tsukiji is the largest of Tokyo's 11 wholesale fish markets, handling about 90 percent of the seafood that ends up on the city's tables.

In January, 1992, a 324 kilogram (715-lb) Bluefin Tuna sold for $ 83,500 (US) or P 3,372,565 (Philippine Peso) - almost $ 117 per pound or $ 257.72 per kilogram or P 10,409.31 per kilogram - in Tokyo, Japan. The tuna was reduced to 2,400 servings of sushi for wealthy diners at $ 75 or P 3,029.25 per serving. The estimated takings from this one fish were $ 180,000 or P 7,270,200.

Another fish, a giant, Golden Tigerfish recently caught off the coast of the province of Guangdong in southern China made news too for its price. The 105 lb fish was purchased by a restaurant for the price of 580,000 yuan ($75,000 USD). Considering the original asking price of 800,000 yuan ($103,500 USD), you could say they got a bargain. Of course, they paid three times as much as was paid for a similarly massive tigerfish three years prior to this purchase.

Tigerfish are so called because of their coloration, fearsome appearances and ferocity when captured. The largest tigerfish are Hydrocynus Goliath while the tigerfish most common to Southeast Asia are Datnioididae. The restaurant in question named their acquisition “Golden Cash Tiger Fish” in Chinese. They planned to sell the most expensive fish in the world to diners for about 2,000 yuan per kilogram (or around $117 USD per lb).

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