Japan’s biggest retailer, Aeon Co,. on Thursday began selling farm-raised bluefin tuna at some of its supermarkets in Tokyo, expecting growing demand for the product after overfishing put the species at risk in the Pacific.
Over about two months, Aeon plans to sell fillets from 3,500 tuna under its private brand at about 2,000 group outlets in Japan, including its Daiei and MaxValu stores.
To secure supply in the world’s biggest tuna consuming country, Aeon tied up with major fishery firm Maruha Nichiro Corp. and a fish farm in Kagoshima Prefecture that raised the fish on Amami-Oshima Island for over three years from eggs.
As the International Union for Conservation of Nature added Pacific bluefin tuna last year to its “Red List” of species at risk of extinction, demand is expected to grow for farm-raised tuna.
Medium-fatty tuna for sashimi is priced at ¥1,382 to ¥1,922 (about $11 to $15) per 100 grams.