Spend a lot to taste a little: the $100,000 tuna

This past week, two Tokyo restaurants shared the $104,800 tab on a 128 kg (282 lb.) bluefin tuna. If that sounds like a lot, the restaurant actually paid 9.63 million yen-same amount of money, just sounds like more. Okay, if you’re impressed by the sheer cost of this fish, it set the buyer back more than $372 per pound. Of course, it’s probably worth it. Wall Street Journal reporter Yumiko Ono describes the dish as “[s]mooth, succulent and a little on the light side.

Sushi from this pricey swimmer was available for only three days. Half of it went to Kyubey, a den of sushi delicacy in the Ginza district. A small portion came with a price tag of $22 and was also offered as part of a 10-piece, $60 lunch special.

Itamae Sushi snatched the other half of the expensive tuna. Instead of pushing customers to dig deep into their pockets, the trophy catch was included in a $32 lunch special open to the first 20 people to walk through the door. Did it make money on the win? Probably not. Bragging rights, however, are priceless.

Bluefin Tuna Fishing Banned in Europe

Blame sushi! The 2007 quota of nearly 17,000 tonnes of bluefin tuna has already been exhausted for this year, forcing the European commission to impose a ban on bluefin tuna fishing in Europe, specifically in Cyprus, Greece, Malta, Portugal and Spain for the rest of the year. Italy and France closed their own fisheries in July and August.

Experts say that the rising popularity of sushi is to be blamed for the rising demand for bluefin tuna. Unlike most tuna, bluefin grows slowly and matures late, making it vulnerable to intensive trawling. The typical size is 2 m (6.6 ft) at about 500 kg (1,100 lb).

Based on what I saw (or I should say did not see) diving in Crete last week, I seriously doubt there is a single fish of that size in the Mediterranean any more.