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593-pound bluefin tuna sold for record $736,000

Workers cut a bluefin tuna into pieces at a fish market in New Jersey. A nearly 600-pound bluefin tuna was sold today for a record $736,000 in Tokyo.

And this final note. Fishing is rife with tall tales: 'I caught a 600-pound salmon! Look, I have this Photoshopped picture to prove it!'

Well what if I told you a bluefin tuna from the waters off northeastern Japan was worth three-quarters of a million dollars? That, too, would be a tall tale, for sure. Except it's not.

Today was the first auction of the year at the world's biggest wholesale fish market in Tokyo. And a 593-pound tuna -- see, I wasn't exaggerating! -- sold for $736,000 to the owner of a chain of sushi restaurants.

That is a record. And no fish tale.

About the author

Tess Vigeland is the host of Marketplace Money, where she takes a deep dive into why we do what we do with our money.
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I too was dismayed to hear the catch of the Bluefin celebrated by Ms. Vigeland. The Japanese especially seem to excuse the harvestng of threatened species as a delicacy. Do not eat Bluefin tuna!

It is worth noting that the astronomical cost of Bluefin Tuna reflects the fact that they are, despite a lack of official status, an endangered species. It is astounding that these amazing oceanic predators are considered to be merely tasty menu items. Realistically, serving and eating bluefin is the ethical equivalent to serving and eating tiger. The next time one of these giants sell in a Tokyo market, it may be worth noting the pressures that are leading to the million dollar price tag.

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