Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • Narrator: This bluefin tuna is 363 pounds.

  • It's known as the king of sushi in Japan

  • for its color and texture.

  • Some of the highest-quality bluefin

  • are auctioned for millions of dollars

  • at the Toyosu Market in Tokyo.

  • At almost 4 million square feet,

  • the market is a one-stop shop for fish

  • from all over the world.

  • Here, tuna is sliced, packaged,

  • and sold to high-end clientele and grocery stores alike.

  • But before it's sold, experts must first bid

  • on the top-tier tuna, which can go for millions.

  • In 2019, a Japanese restaurant chain paid over $3 million

  • for a 612-pound tuna.

  • And at the center of this action are expert tuna scouters

  • like Takayuki Shinoda.

  • He's a naka-oroshi, or intermediate wholesaler.

  • His job is to select the best tuna from around the world

  • for his customers.

  • Narrator: But the future of Takayuki's job is in jeopardy.

  • The population of bluefin tuna

  • is down 97% over the last decade,

  • which means there will be less of a need

  • for naka-oroshi like Takayuki.

  • Narrator: Takayuki has been a naka-oroshi for 30 years.

  • Narrator: For him, work starts at 4:30 a.m.

  • At Toyosu Market,

  • there's no such thing as a normal business day.

  • Octopus and squid arrive a day earlier.

  • Fresh fish like horse mackerel and sardines

  • come in before midnight.

  • And truckloads of tuna are dropped off every hour.

  • Narrator: That's almost $13 million.

  • And tuna is the market's most popular product.

  • Each day, the fish make their way from the boat decks

  • to the auction floor.

  • But it's more than just the type of tuna you find in a can.

  • There's bigeye tuna, ideal for sushi and sashimi,

  • yellowfin tuna, perfect for grilling at restaurants

  • due to its high fat content,

  • but most bidders are here for the bluefin.

  • Between 3 and 5 a.m., wholesale employees lay out tuna

  • one by one.

  • Bidders like Takayuki have about 15 minutes

  • to evaluate dozens of fresh tuna before the auction begins.

  • Sushi restaurants, supermarkets, and department stores

  • all depend on naka-oroshi like him.

  • Takayuki looks at the quality and cost.

  • Narrator: Any sort of nick or flesh wound

  • can lower the price by thousands of dollars.

  • When tuna is reeled in, it can wriggle and writhe,

  • causing a chemical reaction in the muscles.

  • The movement speeds up decomposition

  • and makes tuna sour, soggy, and less tasty.

  • Narrator: When the bell rings, the bidding begins.

  • A range of hand signals, known as teyari,

  • are used to place bids.

  • An index finger for one and two fingers for two.

  • But whether that's 1,100 yen a pound or 12,000

  • depends on the type of fish being auctioned.

  • In just 10 minutes, the auction's over,

  • and winning bidders claim their prizes.

  • Narrator: The tuna then makes its way from the auction floor

  • to the intermediate wholesale building for filleting.

  • Toyosu keeps the temperature

  • between 50.9 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit

  • to slow decomposition.

  • Wholesalers also rely on a fleet of small trucks

  • known as turrets.

  • They zip through winding corridors

  • to minimize how long the fish are exposed to air.

  • Narrator: The Ishiji team works as a unit

  • to move the heavy tuna onto the cutting table.

  • To prepare the tuna for cutting, first they wash it,

  • then remove the ice.

  • Narrator: Most of Takayuki's high-end customers care about two things

  • when it comes to raw bluefin tuna: color and taste.

  • Narrator: It's then brought inside the shop,

  • where it's divided and filleted.

  • Customers show up early to get the first pick.

  • Narrator: Not a single part of the tuna is wasted. Even its eyes.

  • Narrator: Customers have relied on the market's

  • high-quality fish products for decades.

  • Before the market moved to its new location

  • and was renamed Toyosu, it was known as the Tsukiji market.

  • Narrator: Tsukiji was the epicenter of seafood.

  • Its success spurred demand for all types of fish.

  • Fishing for bluefin tuna in the Western Atlantic

  • rose by over 2,000% in 1970.

  • But it was difficult for the market to keep up.

  • Narrator: Meanwhile, Japanese tuna consumption

  • was growing significantly.

  • Narrator: Japan has since placed a quota

  • on the number of bluefin tuna caught.

  • But it's a double-edged sword for wholesalers like Takayuki.

Narrator: This bluefin tuna is 363 pounds.

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B2 US tuna narrator bluefin fish market auction

How A 600 Pound Tunafish Sells For $3 Million At The Largest Fish Market In The World | Big Business

  • 5 1
    joey joey posted on 2021/05/23
Video vocabulary