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1st bluefin of season sells for NT$1.68 million in Pingtung

1st bluefin of season sells for NT$1.68 million in Pingtung

Taipei, April 24 (CNA) The first bluefin tuna caught by Taiwanese fishermen in waters off Taiwan this season was auctioned Friday for NT$1.68 million (US$54,000) in Pingtung County, southern Taiwan. The fish, caught by Pingtung Donggang-registered fishing boat Man Ta Feng No.12 (???12?), weighted 366 kilograms, breaking the previous record of 320 kg. At the auction, which was presided over by Pingtung Magistrate Pan Meng-an (???) and Fishery Agency Director-General Tsay Tzu-yaw (???), the tuna was sold to a local seafood restaurant for NT$4,600 per kg. The price made Man Ta Feng No.12 skipper Hung Kuo-fu (???) very happy, who noted that the cost of fishing for bluefin tuna in coastal waters can be as much as NT$800,000 per month. To make money, he needs to catch more than 10 bluefin in the short period of time in the year that the species migrates to the seas off eastern Taiwan to spawn, he said. After selling the first tuna, he will immediately put to sea again to fish, Hung added. Taiwan's fishing season for bluefin, which is a highly prized but expensive ingredient of sashimi and sushi in seafood and Japanese restaurants, normally begins in April and ends in June. During that period, a series of festive activities, including concerts, will be held in the fishing port of Donggang as part of efforts to promote local culture and tourism. So far, Pingtung fishermen have managed to catch two bluefin. The second, weighing over 200 kg, was also auctioned off. The event, however, drew a protest from Greenpeace, which issued a statement the previous day calling for a ban on tuna fishing and sales. In response, both Tsai and Pan said Pingtung fishing boats all fish using the longline technique rather than seine netting, and the fish they catch have to be bigger than 180 kg. Their fishing operations meet international convention regulations and do not damage the ecology, they contended. (By Kuo Chu-chen and Elizabeth Hsu)


Updated : 2021-09-29 09:04 GMT+08:00