Japanese Bluefin Tuna Facing Unexpectedly Sluggish Demand

Society Lifestyle Economy

Tokyo, Aug. 13 (Jiji Press)--Demand for bluefin tuna caught in the Tsugaru Strait in northeastern Japan, including the usually popular Oma brand, has been unexpectedly sluggish this year, posing a headache for wholesale dealers at Tokyo's Toyosu fish market.

Most bluefin tuna from the strait are small, with less belly fat, this year. In many cases, these small tuna have failed to find buyers at the wholesale market, with bigger, fatty overseas rivals, including those from the United States, being snapped up instead.

More Tsugaru Strait bluefin tuna have been brought to the market than usual this season. Since fishing started there in mid-July as usual, some 600 bluefin tuna have arrived, up about eightfold from a year before.

But most of them are small, weighing around 30 kilograms per fish. There are only a few large tuna weighing over 100 kilograms that are known for their good quality.

"We're facing an unexpected situation this year," an intermediate wholesaler said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press