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Tuna Catch Gets $2 Million in Tokyo Sale

November 15, 1988|CHARLES HILLINGER | Times Staff Writer

The biggest Pacific blue fin tuna ever caught in Southern California waters by commercial fishermen have been sold for more than $2 million at auction in Tokyo.

In the past 10 days, 233 of the giant tuna weighing 300 to 625 pounds each have been taken off Santa Rosa Island and flown to Japan, where premium prices are paid by the sushi and sashimi trade.

Auctioned off individually, the fish brought $16 to $32 a pound, or an average of $24 a pound for the total catch of 83,880 pounds.

"These are a high-class fish bought at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo by the most expensive, most exclusive restaurants in Japan. This prize tuna will cost the diner about $10 a bite, which translates into more than $125 a pound," said Paul Flagg, president of Great Circle Fisheries, which handled the bulk of the sale.

The Japanese believe that eating rare old fish like these adds to an individual's strength and longevity.

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