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3,000 Tuna A Day At Tsukiji

While I was working on a post about Tsukiji for Nihon Sun, I got really curious about how much seafood moves through that giant market each day.

Finding the monthly sales results at Tsukiji was easy. It’s a matter of public information and the Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market publishes the data monthly. So, I looked at December 2008 and I found sales of 54 billion yen in 25 days. Simply amazing. 92% of all seafood of all Tokyo was dealt at Tsukiji.

Then, I wondered how many tuna does Tsukiji move a day? I first got the total weight of tuna the Tsukiji Wholesale Market had sold in the same month, December 2008. They shifted 5,550 tons of maguro, both fresh and frozen.

Now, when it was time to figure out how many fish 5,550 tonnes converts to, I struggled. So, I called the office of Tsukiji Wholesale Market and a tuna wholesaler’s office I know at down at Tsukiji. Both answered with a polite “I don’t know what the heck you are trying to do.” Actually, one explained that not all tuna come in as a whole, some are cut up and frozen. Thus, there’s really no way of counting the number other than the total weight.

So, I found the average size of a mature fish for each species: Bluefin, Southern Bluefin, Bigeye, Yellowfin, and Albacore, and I decided to say around 75kg. (reference cite at OPRT.OR.JP) I also remembered when I caught the tail end of the action in tuna auction area where wholesalers were loading tuna, aside from Bluefin, other tuna were not that big.

So, 5,550 tonnes divided by 25 days, then divided by 75kg. Thus, I got 3,000 tuna a day sold at Tsukiji. The number still seems so high. Are we eating that much tuna a day? Can someone shed some light on this?

Please visit me at Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo at Nihon Sun.

And while you are there, check out the rest of the Regional Foods in Japan Series from Tokyofoodcast on Nihon Sun

Regional Foods in Japan: Hokkaido
Regional Foods in Japan: Tohoku & Kanto
Regional Foods in Japan: Chubu & Kansai
Regional Foods in Japan: Chugoku & Shikoku
Regional Foods in Japan: Kyushu & Okinawa

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  1. [...] Et-chan added an interesting post today on 3000 Tuna A Day At Tsukiji | TokyofoodcastHere’s a small readingPlease visit me at Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo at Nihon Sun. And while you are there, check out the rest of the Regional Foods in Japan Series from Tokyofoodcast on Nihon Sun. Regional Foods in Japan: Hokkaido … [...]

  2. [...] Et-chan added an interesting post today on 3000 Tuna A Day At Tsukiji | TokyofoodcastHere’s a small readingPlease visit me at Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo at Nihon Sun. And while you are there, check out the rest of the Regional Foods in Japan Series from Tokyofoodcast on Nihon Sun. Regional Foods in Japan: Hokkaido … [...]

  3. [...] Et-chan created an interesting post today on 3000 Tuna A Day At TsukijiHere’s a short outlineTsukiji Market Photo: At Tsukiji. While I was working on a post about Tsukiji for Nihon Sun, I got really curious about how much seafood moves through that giant market each day. Finding the monthly sales results at Tsukiji was easy. … [...]

  4. [...] Et-chan placed an interesting blog post on 3000 Tuna A Day At TsukijiHere’s a brief overviewTsukiji Market Photo: At Tsukiji. While I was working on a post about Tsukiji for Nihon Sun, I got really curious about how much seafood moves through that giant market each day. Finding the monthly sales results at Tsukiji was easy. … [...]

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