Prices of High-Quality Bluefin Tuna Falling amid Epidemic

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, Sept. 26 (Jiji Press)--Bluefin tuna, a popular fish at high-end sushi establishments, is cheaper than usual this year because of good catches off Aomori Prefecture, northeastern Japan, and other fishing grounds and the impact of the novel coronavirus crisis.

Aomori, known for its Oma brand bluefin tuna, is seeing good hauls, but prices at fish markets in Tokyo have plummeted due to a decline in demand from restaurants hit hard by the coronavirus fallout.

Autumn and winter are the best fishing season for Oma and other bluefin tuna caught in the Tsugaru Strait between Aomori and Hokkaido, northernmost Japan. This month, shipments to the Toyosu wholesale food market in Tokyo of domestic bluefin tuna, most from Aomori, have been on par with the year-before level, which was larger than in ordinary years.

While over half of the bluefin tuna caught in September last year were around 30 kilograms per head, the number of tuna weighing over 100 kilograms has increased this year. "The tuna is getting fattier," an auctioneer from a wholesale company at the market said.

Despite the high volume and improving quality, wholesale prices of domestic bluefin tuna at Toyosu in September are 20 pct to 30 pct lower than those in the same month of last year. Explaining a reason behind the lower prices, an intermediate wholesaler at the market said that "eateries are refraining from stocking up" due to falling demand for eating out because of the prolonged coronavirus crisis.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press