Pricier catch: Frozen tuna prices jump 60% in Japan

TOKYO, Nov 23 (Nikkei) - From COVID-19 to a weak yen, a confluence of global economic forces has led the price of one of Japan's favorite sushi toppings to surge.

Many chain sushi restaurants, izakaya pubs and other affordable eateries serve frozen bigeye tuna, a cheaper alternative to the fresh bluefin often served at high-end restaurants. The price for frozen bigeye averaged 1,443 yen ($10.20) per kilogram at Tokyo's Central Wholesale Market in September -- up 13% from a year earlier, and around 60% higher than two years ago.

The jump largely stems from disruptions to the fishing industry caused by COVID-19.

While many deep-sea boats used to catch tuna are captained by Japanese nationals, the vast majority of the crew usually come from Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries. Coronavirus border curbs prevented many of them from entering Japan. ...continue reading

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