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Old 01-11-2012, 07:21 AM
Soundbounder Soundbounder is offline
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High Priced Tuna Hurting BFT Stocks

Each January, the first bluefin tuna auction at Toyko's Tsukiji fish market commands some of the highest prices of the year.

This year's auction got off to an especially extravagant start when a sushi chain owner paid 56.49 million yen, or about $736,000, for one 593-pound bluefin tuna yesterday, according to wire service reports.

But environmentalists who closely monitor the dwindling bluefin tuna stocks say this sends exactly the wrong signal to fishermen, especially those who are tempted to break international law to go after bluefin.

"We have a pretty significant overfishing problem with bluefin tuna," Lee Crockett, who directs the Pew Environment Group's bluefin tuna work, tells The Salt. "When you sell fish for this amount of money, that exacerbates those problems. You can bet fishermen all over the world are going to say, 'Boy, I'd like to sell fish for that amount of money.'"

Kiyoshi Kimura, this year's big spender and president of Kiyomura Co., paid almost double what was paid last year at the first auction of 2011.

But his decision to pay so much may have been more of a publicity stunt than a true reflection of the market for bluefin. When asked why he willingly paid three-quarters of a million dollars for one fish, Kimura said he "wanted to give the country a boost," according to the AP. Japan is still reeling from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that tore along its northern coast, leaving death and destruction in their wake. The fishing industry was not spared in the damage.

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Old 01-11-2012, 12:27 PM
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Onshore Onshore is offline
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Don't be so quick to espose what PEW tells you. Sometimes their facts are adapted to their narrows goals and, sometimes they just plan are so twisted you can smell them on the internet.

US Tuna used to be the high priced ones at the Tokoyo enchange. Now, they usually come from closer to Japan. I fished commercially for tuna out of Gloucester when the average price was around $.15 -$.20 per pound. When the Japanese began buying US tuna, the prices shot up but, they only took the best of the stocks that were landed. Overall, it helped raise the price for the US fishermen. But, so did the ready acceptance of the US restaurants to push Tuna as an exotic dish and our acceptance of that.

I doubt that the current-day prices for the top tuna in Japan have any influence of the price paid at the dock for american-landed tuna. Only a very few commercial fishermen will go to the effort and expense to land tuna that are acceptable to the standards imposed by the Japanese.

IMHO, it is not the US fishermen, commercial or recreational who are the cause of the overfishing, despite what PEW will tell you. Our fishermen fish within and conform to a very ridged quota. It is the European countries who ignore their own limits and regulations who have caused the crises with BFT.

Bill Hubbard

This and other original paintings and fine art prints of fishing and marine subjects may be seen on my website

Last edited by Onshore; 01-11-2012 at 12:29 PM..
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