National Fisherman

Mixed Catch 

jerryJerry Fraser is NF's publisher and former editor.



They say you can't put a price on happiness. But Kiyoshi Kimura, president of Japan's Sushi-Zanmai restaurant chain, has given it a shot.

Kimura was the winning bidder for a 488-pound bluefin tuna, caught off Japan's northern city of Oma, in the first auction of 2013 at Japan's famed Tsukiji fish market, ponying up a record-setting $1.8 million for the privilege.

In the process, he shattered his own record, which he set last year, purchasing a 593-pound bluefin caught off northeastern Japan, for a mere $736,000. That 2012 purchase sailed past the previous record set in 2011, when a 754-pound bluefin was claimed for $396,000.

"I wanted to meet expectations of my customers who said they wanted to eat Japan's best tuna," Kimura told the Jiji Press. No doubt. The country consumes three-quarters of the world's bluefin catch.

But Kimura wants to do more than satisfy consumer demand for bluefin. "With this good tuna," Kimura added, "I hope to cheer up Japan."

Kimura also sought to boost morale last year after the devastating March 2011 tsunami. He stated last year that he couldn't let a bluefin caught in Japanese waters be sold to another country.

Normally, based on the purchase price, a single slice of bluefin sushi would cost a diner about $342, or 30,000 yen. However, Kimura reportedly plans to sell slices at a much more affordable price of $5 a slice.

That substantial a price reduction should make bluefin tuna lovers in Japan very happy indeed.

Inside the Industry

NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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